I have always been a person who expresses love through gifts. Big or small; cheap or expensive. It is just my way of expressing love and telling the people I love, that they matter. That despite the chaotic world swirling around, I will always make time for them.
For me gifts have never been about materialism, they are meant to evoke a sense of warmth in the person receiving the gift. It is my form of emotions portrayed with utmost sincerity. They are truly gifts of love and joy.
Deepak Ramola, in his recent book, 50 toughest questions of life, put it beautifully:
To receive a gift is to be apprised with the fact that you matter, that you belong and that you have not been forgotten or taken for granted. That someone, actually even if for a fleeting moment paused to put your likes dislikes on their priority list and made a conscious decision to share it with you
Over time, I have seen, the meaning of gifts dilute and become more of a status symbol. People associate gifts with their stature in society. They expect to receive gifts in a certain price bracket which according to them defines their self declared status.
Be it Diwali or Weddings – this practice has become rampant and all pervasive.
I have seen lists being made of presents and cash received from near and dear ones at weddings so that appropriate reciprocation is made at similar events. I have encountered gifts been sporadically exchanged depending on moods. I have experienced gifts been measured to the last penny in comparison. I have watched displeased faces at the sheer thoughtlessness of gifts been given. I have seen decisions of gifting being made depending on what has been received.
I find all of this shallow and hollow. Comparisons are a futile exercise that only lead to dissatisfaction and frustration of self.
Someone once told me, that “see how deep your pocket is when you give a gift, not that of the other”. That is something that really stuck with me.
We need to open our hearts and offer the generosity we have to offer. Whether they reciprocate the same love, is up to them. If our gifts of love are dependent on what we receive from the other, then the underlying thought in itself is selfish and we need to rethink that. No one is putting a gun to your head to gift something. But when you do, make it a gift of love. The size of the gift or the money invested in it is inconsequential. It’s the grace and emotion behind it that matters.
Let it spread whiffs of love and happiness. Let it strengthen that bond a tad more, let it make YOU more present in THEIR thoughts.
Everyone can experience the joy and blessing of generosity; because everyone has something to give – Jan Grace
Don’t be compelled by pressures of society or how much the other friend or relative may give or the inane need to match up. Let it retain the pure love that it is meant to convey.
Some of the most memorable gifts that find space in my drawer and house even today are the ones that I love looking at every now and then:
1. A handmade birthday card by my then boyfriend and now husband
A card that he made when he was 16. Trust me it looks like the job of a 5 year old but nothing could be more treasured than that piece of paper. The unshapely balloons drawn across the card, show how much he tried to get it right and I knew that he would always try to get it right for the rest of our lives. The soft colours he used reflected his understanding for my likes to paler and subtle shades or maybe that his and my tastes were alike. A subconscious thread that comforted me that my likes mattered in his life.
2. A poem written by a friend for my wedding invite
That poem today is framed on the wall of my bedroom. It relays our love story with simplicity yet tugs on a chord each time I read it even to this day. It takes me down memory lane and fortifies my belief in destiny and things that are meant to happen. It’s portrayal of my nature and my husband’s personality rings so true. That poem is US, strewn into words on a paper with nostalgia breathing through every syllable.
3. A handwritten letter by my sister
I was turning 30 and my elder sister couldn’t be there as she had a commitment to meet. The letter described “US” and what we are to each other. We are so different yet alike. Our inner child is as alive now as it was decades ago. The letter felt like an infectious laughter, it felt like a warm hug with the crazy in us thrown together. It is truly cherished.
4. 3D miniature
A dear friend gifted me a 3D miniature (from a photograph) of ours. It is one of my recent treasures. Because it captured a moment in time. A moment when we were all together, away from the hustle bustle of daily life. The caricature had perfect detailing with the clothes we wore, to our hairstyles and even footwear. That gift spoke to me, I can still hear the peals of laughter that brought us into that very moment. It told me that I mattered, it reflected the time invested by her in thinking of something I would hold dear forever.
The joy of giving is indescribable. The delight that you see in the eyes of a loved one is completely priceless. This gesture has the ability to exude such intense emotions that sometimes in routine life are difficult to convey. Use these opportunities, don’t let them by. Life is a maze and constantly keeps us spinning. It is up to us to find these moments that count. Occasions need to be created by us not by birthday calendars and festivals. There is no dedicated time and place that needs to be allocated to make someone feel special. That time and moment is in your heart. Let the love flow, let the delight seep into your soul when you see the pleasure is someone’s eyes.
Personalise your gifts. It doesn’t necessarily cost money but only some of your time and thought. Personalisation doesn’t always mean that their names have to be inscribed on gifts. Personalisation is a thought that you transform into reality. A thought that you remembered a desire of theirs, a wish unfulfilled, a deep rooted craving, a feeling or emotion chiseled in time.
Feel the love. Be love. Turn an ordinary day into someone else’s extra ordinary moments for life.
If everything around you seems dark, look again
You may be the light