One my friends, who is in the US, recently visited India. And there is an unwritten tradition that you are supposed to get gifts for everyone and also give something as return gift when they come to see you. If you have returned from abroad, then chocolates are a must. That made me think, how difficult it would have been for my friend (or anyone for that matter).. to get so many gifts.. first make list of all people.. then think what can be bought for them.. the actual process of buying is just swiping the card.. the thought process behind each and every item being bought.. is important and takes most of time.. if you want to give something meaningful and useful..
I came across a nice concept of “dedicated gifts” in the book One Hundred Names by Cecilia Ahern (Author of bestselling novel PS-I love you). There is one lady who has the business of suggesting/buying personalized gifts.. and for that.. she spends a few days with them (the receiver of gift).. tries to understand them.. feel their emotions and their button of happiness.. Sounds so nice.. does this exist in reality??
As a kid when I used to go with my parents on a vacation, we used to get something for everybody – from grandparents, to cousins, from neighbors to friends.. Some used to appreciate and feel happy that they have got something.. while some used to criticize saying how the gift was not suitable to them.. and some would want what is given to the other.. I used to get upset and always ended up having a feeling.. why should we get anything at all.. if irrespective of what we get.. it will be criticized??
Another amusing part was (now I find it amusing).. when my relatives used to go to some place.. they never got anything for us.. but used to get for other cousins.. I never understood the reason for this partiality and it used to hurt me a lot.. why not for me? My parents then used to pacify me.. you get all that you want from us.. then why do you expect something from others.. very true.. still that grudge always remained in me.. the joy of getting something as a gift was probably more than I buying it..
Now when I think about this.. I feel so silly.. there was absolutely no need for me to upset.. but still I did.. As they say.. expectations lead to disappointment.. same used to happen with me.. Now my perspective has changed.. it really doesn’t matter.. whether I get something or not.. and that hasn’t stopped me from getting things for others.. Thanks to my parents.. who have taught me to give.. and yes.. I am trying to be as much as selfless I can be while giving..