23/06/2012

Do you really like getting presents?*

Posted in Family, General, Musings, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:21 pm by The Water Bearer

My Big Girl and I were having one of our ‘Deep & Meaningful” talks one night recently, as we often do. These are times I am so grateful for, as it seems so difficult to get teenagers to talk at the best of times, let alone with their parents. So here we were talking about life, faith, boys, future plans, past victories and sharing our thoughts about all kinds of important stuff. One thing she wanted to share, was how much she appreciates that she doesn’t equate ‘gifts’ with how much she is loved. She is happy with a balance of going without things, and appreciating what she has. However, people in her life are beginning to give her gifts as a gesture of affection. Many would perhaps enjoy being spoilt like this, but it actually causes her to feel uncomfortable and I can understand why.

I used to date a guy who bought me ‘gifts’ all the time, he would buy me gifts for no particular reason, and when a special occasion came along he would go overboard. I was a single Mum and counting every penny I had, obviously there was no way I could keep up with his level of gift giving. I gave him affection and attention, but not much in the way of material things. Unfortunately he didn’t know any better, it was how his parents showed him affection, they bought him stuff. They were quite wealthy and he wanted for nothing, yet he was not even close to feeling fulfilled or happy.

It is so common to try to buy things for our loved ones to make up for our shortcomings in regard to giving them attention or love. The act itself of buying a gift for someone could be interpreted as loving thing to do, to spend time thinking about the person you love and thinking of what will make them smile. However the person receiving these gifts only gets a short dose of warmth that easily fades over time. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought to myself , ‘Yep, they must really love me, because I remember that present they bought me last month.’

Another element to consider when buying gifts is that the intention can often create feelings of anticipation. If the intention is simply to make someone smile then fine, you will probably get a smile in return for a gift. But what if the intention is to get love in return? What would they have to do to love you back? Do they owe you something now?

A gift is a gift, end of story. It is a gesture purely to acknowledge that thought was given to a person or situation. Thought alone, not love.

If we really want to show our love for others it needs to come in the form of something that cannot be forgotten or broken or lost. If we give our loved ones things like loyalty, compromise, acceptance, forgiveness, freedom, trust, support, encouragement, honesty, affection and attention, then they will know they are loved. We won’t need gifts to prove it.

These expectations of love and the now seemingly common practice of giving ‘gifts’ in exchange for love, has led to the excessive commercialisation we get shoved down our throats at every ‘special day’ imaginable. We just recover from Christmas and then it’s Valentine’s day, we take a breath after getting that out of the way and all of a sudden it’s Easter, with chocolate eggs through to lavish gift baskets displayed on (a ridiculous amount of) stands in every shop. Add to that all the birthdays of those we care for, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Baby showers, Christenings, Birth of New babies, Anniversaries, and before you know it, it is stinking Christmas again! I don’t know about you, but the thought of loving someone with gifts is both expensive and exhausting.

It seems obvious to me that our inner enemies are trying to convince us that giving gifts is necessary when it comes to showing love, by creating hoopla around every occasion we can come up with.

We need to ask our inner angels to take over and encourage us to begin truly loving people in ways that puts gift giving to shame. In fact I think this post should conclude with those true loving gestures lingering in our minds.

Lord, help this world to overlook gift giving as a gesture of love and help us show our loved ones  genuine love through AFFECTION – PATIENCE – LOYALTY – KINDNESS – COMPROMISE – SUPPORT – ATTENTION – FORGIVENESS – ACCEPTANCE – FREEDOM – ENCOURAGEMENT – HONESTY & TRUST! Amen!

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8 Comments »

  1. Interesting post. I understand your point, but I personally think when we love people giving a gift is an extension of that love. I love to give and receive gifts.When someone takes the time to select something just for me, it’s kind of special. And honestly, after having gone through years of receiving no gifts for holidays and my birthday, I am looking forward to a season where I will receive gifts again, lol. (Is that bad?) But mostly I am looking forward to being able to give the kind of gifts I want, to show family and friends how I love and appreciate them.

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    • Dearest SAB you are so sweet of heart. 🙂 I agree with your point also. I love to give gifts for those I love, unfortunately I sense a shift in the world these days. While there are still those whose gifts are extentions of genuine love, too much emphasis is placed on gift giving rather than on the qualities of love so often neglected. It saddens me that some think gifts make up for the lack of giving those factors which ended my post. I also love getting gifts from those who love me but not at all from those who havent built that love & trust.

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  2. Totally agree…I think you can literally choke a girl with gifts (coming from a guy’s perspective). And to be honest, I think girls prefer attention and genuine care more than material stuff. (This coming from experience too). ^^

    But all in all, sometimes you just feel like doing something for someone. And a gift is usually the way you do it.

    ~ E

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    • Thanks for giving the ‘guys’ perspective. You are right. Hey lets face it, if someone we love gives us a gift for the right reasons it is a lovely thing.

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  3. Subhan Zein said,

    Hello The Water Bearer,

    You’ve got a nice blog up here. Great job! Keep penning and keep inspiring! 🙂

    I would like to thank you for following my blog. I hope my blog doesn’t disappoint you and that your visits there have been and will always be a joyful ride. 🙂

    Thank you again and lovely day to you! 🙂

    Subhan Zein

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    • Very Sweet of you. Such nice compliment and thanks for the encouragement. I do like your blog also, it is very welcoming and I am educated by the things you share. Nice to meet you. 🙂

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      • Subhan Zein said,

        Nice to meet you. May happiness lies in the realm of your heart to bring warmth and love. 🙂

        Namaste,

        Subhan Zein

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