The Gift of Gifting

christmas-giftsIt’s that time of year again: gifting season. Christmas and Hanukkah are deeply religious holidays, but the point of season for most folks is exchanging gifts. In fact, it’s considered unpardonably rude to forget to gift a loved one or a close friend. At least in my family.

I’m extra excited about this Christmas, because it will be my first as a married woman. I don’t expect it to be much different from last Christmas, as a fiancée, except that this time I will wake up next to my husband on Christmas day. 😀 Also, because we are saving to buy a comfortable home of our own within the next 5 years, we have put a cap on how much we will spend on gifts for each other and our family and friends.

Hearing this news, some of our family members were relieved, others were not. 😡 All of our friends were thrilled; not surprising, since several are laboring under great financial weights at the moment. But the negative reaction of certain blood kin made me wonder, is it really the thought that counts?

Do you care how much your family members spend on you, or is it the thought and care taken to find you something that you will enjoy, or at least make use of, that matters? For me the answer is no. I have never cared how much is spent on my Christmas presents. BUT I always love it when I receive something that reflects a loved one’s knowledge of who I am and what interests me.

When I receive cash I accept it – who wouldn’t, but I am always disappointed that no thought was put into finding me something that I might enjoy. Oddly enough, the cash gifts usually come from people that I am closely related to, but who I am not particularly close to emotionally AND whom I have given gifts that I either picked out and purchased or hand-made. I’m not sure what to make of that, especially since the most thoughtful and intimate gifts I have received over the years have been from friends and distant relatives (some of which I am also not close to). In the case of one relative, I feel as if they are trying to pay me back for the gift I have just given them, which is a little insulting. 😦

I’d love to hear your thoughts on gift giving. Anyone else on a gifting budget? Anyone planning to forgo the tradition altogether?


About blackfemaleculture

I am an African American woman looking to connect with other African American women who are interested in reinventing a wholesome, empowering culture that feeds the minds and souls of African American women and their children.
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3 Responses to The Gift of Gifting

  1. Kendra Blake says:

    I always gift on a budget. If people want to get upset that I’m not spending all my hard earned money on them that’s their problem not mine. I think many of us give out of guilt and fear. I have long stopped doing that. Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Christ, not receiving gifts that the other person can barely afford.

    • “I think many of us give out of guilt and fear.”

      I do. I feel obligated to give gifts to certain relatives so that they know I care about them, because we don’t have a close relationship.

      “Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Christ, not receiving gifts that the other person can barely afford.”

      I could not agree more. 🙂 And I think the expectations are highest for those of us who are high earners and/or are married to high earners. There is definitely a belief that you (the person who has more) should make up for what they lack at Christmas. Especially, if – like me – you do not believe in lending money.

  2. Pingback: Robert JR Graham » The Gift of Family

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