I am getting married in less then 8 weeks (woo!)!
There have been so many feelings about our wedding (I’ll save them for another post)…
One thing that keeps coming back up is “What do you want for your wedding present?”
I’ve always felt like giving people a specific list of things with prices is a bit presumptuous – maybe people want to have the pleasure of choosing their own unique thing for you! Or maybe they just want to give you money. Or maybe both.
But despite my reticence towards Wedding Registries – at the same time, so many people have reached out to us and asked, “What can we get you? What do you need?”
I feel like thats a hard question to answer because I have to make an assumption about what that person wants to spend. Do I tell them I want a wooden chopping board (below $20) or I want a light, good quality quilt (upwards of $150).
I understand being on a budget. We often live week to week, despite our best effort to save for the big time. So even though we have got some house items (lots of cheap stuff, second hand goods and hand-me-downs with a few good quality gifts from others), we could also use some cash.
Personally, when I have thought about gifts before (particularly wedding gifts), I want to give the couple something sentimental OR thoughtful OR practical. If I can’t come up with anything in these categories, and I fall back on giving money – how much is enough? If its a distant friend, is $20 suitable? For a close friend, during my broke time, is $50 is enough?
This thought process always brings me back to the true meaning of gifts.
Why do we give gifts?
It shouldn’t be so that the receiver opens it up and says, “Yeah, they spent a stack of money on us – they are legit people”. Or “Well, Jane gave me more then Lucy, so Jane must like me better.”
Instead, it should be a sense of gratefulness. A sense that someone else in the world cares enough about you to even get you a gift OR money. That they want to give up some part of their person or wallet towards you.
When I think back over many birthdays and Christmases and other random gift-getting times, some of my most memorable gifts are things that don’t have a monetary value.
Getting a letter filled with someone’s thoughts or ideas – this is such an invaluable gift.
Spending quality time with someone creating a memory – irreplaceable.
Even the very concept of emotional connectivity has been capitalised through the MasterCard Priceless ad series.
When you look at all the different gifts people give and the different levels of importance people place on giving gifts, its hard as the recipient to really be judgemental about the gifts themselves. Its impossible for me to fully look outside my self-context to understand the complexities behind the action of giving from each individual giver. BUT it is possible for me to be grateful for anything – anything that is deemed “gift-worthy” by the giver.
HOW TO GIVE A GOOD GIFT:
- Think about the recipients – What do they like? What do you know about them?
- Do some research – Stalk them on Facebook, Ask them questions, Have a look around their house
- Follow your heart – If it doesn’t feel right, don’t buy it !
- Be genuine – When you can’t think of anything, give them money and a nicely written card
- Make an effort – Even if its ‘just’ money, make sure you think about the card you are giving, or the words you are writing in the card, or the way you present the whole thing!
- Presentation matters – A present that isn’t wrapped can come across like you couldn’t be bothered.
- Enjoy the process – Giving can often be more rewarding then receiving!