Please stop giving generic gifts!

It’s the holidays again and the stores have started putting out their gift suggestions. Gift sets seem to be the logical choice especially if one is buying for a lot of people.

But I want to ask: What about the personal gift?

Oh yes, it’s easy to just buy the generic gift: feminine sets of scented lotions and body washes for women, some kind of shaving set for men, maybe a scented candle or an expensive set of playing cards for someone else. It seems to me that most people don’t really put their thoughts into giving gifts by considering what they know about the person and giving something they would actually like.

We have become a society of lazy gift-givers where the giving of the gift is the point regardless what that is (a different issue is the horribly inappropriate gift like lacy underwear from a male co-worker to a woman).

I read somewhere that thought in the saying “It’s the thought that counts” does not refer to the thought of the person or remembering him/her as valuable and so necessitates giving a gift. Instead, it means it’s the thought in the gift that counts – that we have actually thought about what to give the other based on what we know or at least what we think we know.

Could it be that we give generic gifts because our list of friends have become so unmanageable? Work friends, neighbors, relatives … We just want to get the chore of gift-giving done! Hence after the holidays we tend to amass a collection of scented toiletries and what-not we would likely not use anyway.

Personally I only give gifts to those I think deserve to be given gifts and I like to give them things I think they would like. Some weird foreign food ingredient for someone who is an adventurous cook, an interesting photograph for an art freak, a bowl of beef stew for an ever-hungry dog. These certainly beat just another scented thingie to crowd in our shower.


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