Pulse Blogger: Thoughts behind giving gifts

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Whats for Christmas?

Christmas is coming soon! Gift giving is always an expectation, but how much thought do we really give this?

Christmas is the season where we most of us start to empty our wallets in the name of giving gifts. The concept of giving gifts over this season seems to have become a generic practice or expectation both locally and internationally.

 Some people may even argue that it has become some sort of capitalist culture, which retails stores have taken full advantage of to boost their profit margins at the end of the year. While this may be true, when it comes down to it, human beings make the decisions for themselves.

But in making these decisions, do we really give much thought to the gifts we give? How do we gift each other? Do we buy generic items for our loved ones and others around us? Or do we take the thought a step further and buy them what we that they genuinely need or would appreciate?

I recently took the Love Language test, a very interesting assessment tool that reveals the way we respond to the demonstration of love and affection based on our personalities and other environmental factors such as our background and upbringing. This test stems from the book, The Five Love Languages by best selling author, Gary Chapman.

It turns out that my primary love language is “receiving gifts”. When I showed a friend my results, she jokingly accused me of being a thief.  But really, this revelation got me thinking about what this love language means in the context of my life, my environment and how I receive gifts.

I do not consider myself to be a materialistic person. I admit that I like nice things, but I can live without them. The basics are the most important to me: a roof over my head, food, a loving family and a means of making a living. Everything else is just extra.

When I really thought about it, it is the thought that counts. This is why I am not necessarily carried away by expensive gifts, unless it is an item that I have expressed genuine interest in. It could be as simple as a priceless note or chicken pie, one of my favourite guilty pleasures.

As human beings, we relate with each other in different ways, but genuine relationships go deep in terms of having a good grasp of what a person likes and/or would appreciate. Some people, very plainly express what they like, while some are not quite as open. Some people may not even appreciate material gifts like others will; they might appreciate an act, a favour or even a like on their social media page.

So when giving gifts this Christmas or on any other occasion, let’s try to give a little more thought into what we give each other. This could better enhance our relationships.

Written by Oyin Egbeyemi.

Oyin Egbeyemi is an engineer-turned-consultant-turned-educationist, runner and writer.