Ah, giving, the act of showing someone close to you that you care. It’s taking the time to let a person know “hey, you matter to me and I appreciate you in my life.”
A gift can be quite simple. It’s really the thought that counts that makes a gift special, not the price tag on it.
But in this corporate world, we forget what a gift truly is. Through all the advertisements on TV and social media, we’re fed this idea that in order to truly give someone something special, it must be wrapped in pretty snowman paper and tied in a Christmas bow.
You must blow your paycheck on fancy new gadgets or elaborate jewelry or some other *thing* in order to give a gift, otherwise you’re just being a hard ass Scrooge who doesn’t really care about anyone.
But that’s all bullshit. A *real gift* doesn’t have a dollar sign in front of it. Something as simple as being there for the person and spending quality time with them can be so much more meaningful than a diamond ring or teddy bear.
See, these corporations see the holidays as nothing more than an opportunity, an opportunity to sell you shit that you don’t really want or need.
Don’t get me wrong, something like the latest gaming console is nice to have and all, but it’s really not something that brings true happiness. It’s nothing but a distraction, a distraction to get you to pay money for the idea that you’re being generous.
But generosity is not determined by the amount you shell out of your wallet. It’s determined, rather, by the amount you genuinely care and are willing to give, without any sort of expectation in return.
I mean face it, in a few months or years, whatever gift you receive during the holidays is likely gonna wind up on the curb side of the street in a trash bin or listed on ebay. Purchased gifts are nothing more than temporary happiness. They don’t provide the lasting fondness of a special memory.
See, the things you do keep as a gift usually have some sort of sentimental value to them. It’s not so much the material expense of the gift itself that makes it so special and worth keeping, but of the emotional value it provides. In other words, we value the feelings associated with a gift more than the actual cost in dollars of the gift.
Maybe there’s a cheap jacket your grandma gave you years before she passed. It’s really not that great of a jacket, cheaply made, and at this point tearing to shreds after just a few winters. But it’s something you keep. It’s something that still, ‘til this day, you appreciate as a gift.
See it wasn’t the amount she spent to give you the jacket nor how high quality the materials were. It’s the loving, warm embrace she had in giving it to you.
The jacket is a physical memoir of how much she cared about you, even though on the surface it doesn’t seem to be worth all that much. Maybe you have a similar gift you received and still keep to this day that, for all intents and purposes, to the outside eye, seems rather “worthless”. But to you, it’s invaluable. It means something so special, beyond that of the material world.
That’s what you want to achieve in your gift giving: sentimental value and lasting memory.
When you focus on achieving that, you’re no longer pressured to work your ass off to buy big elaborate gifts. I mean the sheer amount of hours it takes to buy something expensive is insane and more often than not, underappreciated.
Like I said, those hours you pour into earning enough money to pay for that expensive gift will soon be swept under the rug and forgotten about. No one cares about how much you paid for the gift, and if they do, then they’re really not the type of person worth keeping in your life anyway.
That’s materialistic af and you can’t expect a deep meaningful connection with someone like that.
It says a lot about a person if they're more concerned about the amount of dollars you invested in a gift over the amount of thoughtful care you invested into it. It says they’re a shallow ass person.
I mean sure, if you can live with the fact that you’re literally “buying friendship” from that person, then go right ahead and get the big expensive ass gifts, but if you want something deep and meaningful between you and the other person, then don’t be focusing on the dollar sign. Focus, instead, on creating an emotional bond between you two.
Ignore all these ads that tell you otherwise.
It’s better to give something cheap yet impactful than something expensive yet taken for granted.
Frankly, any amount of time you’re willing to sacrifice is valuable. The mere fact that you’re willing to give up your time to make someone else smile says a lot (and vice versa)
I mean heck, especially as a lazy person, it’s really something that you’re willing to get off the couch, yet alone go out of your way to purchase something, really anything, and give it to someone.
Being lazy can actually have the advantage of making your gifts a lot more valuable. I mean if people know you’re barely willing to get off your ass, it shows a lot that you’ve not only got off your ass but also went out of your damn way to buy them a gift.
Don’t be tempted to think that you need to empty your wallet in order to be a good gift giver. No!
That’s a lot more work than necessary. I mean just think about the amount of hours of work it takes to say, earn a hundred dollars, for a gold piece of jewelry. Fuck that!
And the person (at least if they aren’t materialistic) won’t even appreciate it all that much. They might say thank you and all but that’s just being polite. They don’t really care about your gift, despite how much time and energy you poured into getting it to them.
In other words, you’re maximizing effort and minimizing results. You’re pouring your soul into getting them something that’s gonna end up in a trash bag sooner rather than later. Don’t do that. When you give, give “just enough” to let them know you care.
Most people can’t be bought and the ones that are, aren’t worth “buying”. You gotta minimize that effort and maximize results. You gotta give the lazy way.
Your goal when gift giving, contrary to what corporations want out of you, is not to shell out your wallet, it’s to build rapport between you and the gift receiver. Give something meaningful rather than expensive.
You want to create a memory, a bond, between the two of you. You want to give the impression of “hey, I really thought of you,” not “hey, I’m trying to buy my way into your heart.”
Spending time doing something they love to do that really isn’t your cup of tea is one of the cheapest, yet most impactful types of gifts you can give. For example, maybe they love watching musicals but that’s not really your taste. If you were to spend time together watching a musical or two on the comforts of the couch, that’d be a lot more valuable than purchasing front row tickets to a Broadway show (and sending them on their merry way to go see it alone), yet a hell of a lot more inexpensive.
You want to create the message of “let’s share this moment together” instead of “here, have this.” That’s how you build rapport. That’s how you give gifts worth keeping. They’ll hold onto a memory longer than they ever will a flashy new *thing*.
Your time is your most valuable asset. Heck, even the amount of dollars you earn is determined by the amount of time you invest into earning them. I encourage you to give your time as a gift. Again, the very fact you’re willing to get up off the couch to be with them says a lot, a damn lot!
And anyone that says “oh you only spent x amount of dollars on this?” is not a very good friend or partner. Clearly, they value money over intimacy and that’s just someone you, quite frankly, don’t want to waste time being around.
Know your worth. Know your value. Realize that your very presence is, in fact, a gift worth giving. Being present with somebody, for somebody, is one of the best “presents” you can actually give. Living in the moment and sharing that moment with another person may be “cheap” but it’s a lasting treasure that they’ll keep in their memories for years to come.
The more your value your own self-worth, the easier it becomes to give gifts. You’ll realize that no price tag is as valuable as what you have to offer inside. No longer will you be searching the shelves for gift ideas, and instead you’ll hand them the best thing you already have: you.
You’ll see how you can add value to their life, without spending much money.
A gift is nothing more than a physical representation of the connection you share with another person. It’s a display of affection. When you give a gift, you want to express to the other that you love the connection the two of you share.
You have to believe that you are the gift that keeps on giving. Now I don’t mean that you merely just exist and expect others to accept that as a gift. I mean you must know and understand what it is you can add to make others’ lives better.
You must actually *give yourself.* Be present, actually present with others. Take the time to listen and show you listen.
Understand yourself and you’ll be able to more easily understand others and give them what they want and need.
The most important thing you must keep in mind when you give a gift is to lack expectation. Giving is not some sort of exchange of “If I give you this, then you’ll give me that.” It’s not a trade in any sort of way, nor wishing for something in return.
Giving is simply that. Giving. It’s the selfless act of providing what you have to offer to others, without any sort of ulterior motive. You don’t make the other person feel obligated to return the favor. You just give what you can and let it go, without any expectation.
In the same way, you don’t want to feel obligated to fill your cart with gifts that corporations tell you to purchase, you don’t want others to feel obligated to “give back”.
Do the lazy thing and give “just enough”. Let other people be lazy and not have to rush out to the store to get you a gift either.
Embrace laziness and just appreciate one another for who you are and what you have to offer.
Sure, some may call you a cheap bastard. But you’ll be rich in genuine relationships with people that give and receive thoughtful things instead of what they’re told to buy in an advertisement.
And that my friend is the ultimate gift.
Merry Christmas and Take it Easy,