Presents (353/365)

by Lee Santiva December. 19, 2019 290 views
Christmas presents variation 1

Christmas presents variation 1

Presents are a tricky thing - they can cause happiness or pain.

Presents are wonderful when both the giver and receiver are happy. Some of the best moments in my life have been experiencing someone overjoyed at the present which I gave them. I have also been blessed to have received some wonderful presents throughout my life, however, most of the time giving and receiving is not perfect.

Everyone knows how hard it can be to get an idea or find the right gift for someone. As the deadline approaches, you may end up buying something, anything and giving it with the statement: "I have the receipt if you want to exchange it..." You know you failed and they know you failed and that feeling sucks. In January, eBay is full of unwanted presents sold by unhonest recipients "oh, I love it! It's perfect!" And how come I never saw you wearing that thing I gave you which you loved?

Presents can cause pain years after the fact, for example, once someone had passed away and I discovered a whole closet full of presents still in their original packaging. They didn't want us to know that they didn't like it. That's the irony, they didn't want to hurt our feelings but end up hurting us anyway.

Christmas presents variation 2

Christmas presents variation 2

Presents can be a source of misery.

It's miserable to get something which clearly is "generic" like some neutral thing which the person keeps "on hand, just in case" or which is obviously a "re-gift", that is, a present which was intended for them but they don't want it so they're passing it on to me. For me personally, this is worse than not getting a present at all because it is insulting. Did they really think I wouldn't notice? It ruins my day to be confronted with the ugly reality of our relationship or the truth about that person, that they just don't give a sh*t.

The absolute most painful part of giving a present for me is when I do not get a thank-you.

It is especially hurtful when I give something I made myself and had invested a lot of my time. But its even more painful when I sent gifts by mail and they never acknowledged receiving it. It's too expensive to send packages to the US using a tracking service, so I just use the regular post office. Thus, I wouldn't know if the present didn't arrive or if they are being rude to not thank me.

So I am the one to call and ask "hey, did my present get there in time for... Christmas/ birthday / special occasion..." and then the answer comes slowly: "oh yeah, thanks". After a couple of such incidents, I usually make the suggestion to stop exchanging presents altogether. But that makes me sad too.

Christmas presents variation 3

Christmas presents variation 3

I hope this holiday season is a happy one for you and your loved ones especially as it relates to giving and receiving presents.

I'd be interested in whether this blog resonates with you - have you had similar experiences with presents?

Join the conversation
There are 10 comments , add yours!
Bethany Plonski 1 year, 3 months ago

I love the photos, and I really appreciate your thoughtful post. Every year I feel increasingly frustrated with all the expectations surrounding this time of year and similar occasions - you are right, they can lead such pain. I think more people are realizing that. This year my family agreed to do one small gift per person, focusing the children more than the adults and I am glad for it.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 3 months ago

Thank you for commenting the photos as well as the post. The past years I’ve been donating either care packages or money to “good causes” instead of giving presents to family, but its somehow even less satisfying because I have no idea of the recipient or their reaction.
Definitely giving to children is the most rewarding because they have so much fun

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Benny Law 1 year, 3 months ago

Good points, Lee. I'm glad that I don't engage in gift-giving based on traditions or special dates.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Benny Law 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks Benny, really you don’t do gifts? but what about birthdays? It could  depend on the relationship and age I suppose

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Benny Law Replied to Lee Santiva 1 year, 3 months ago

I don't do birthdays either. Weddings is the only occasion I can think of where I would give gifts as per expectations. You have described in your post why I don't do what most people do, but I do believe in giving meaningful gifts with true love and heart behind them, just not dictated by dates or traditions. Like the gift that Sherry Hill's neighbour made for her (see her post from today).

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Sharon Burrell 1 year, 3 months ago

Great blog post - we are put under so much pressure by advertising campaigns to find the perfect (expensive!) gift. This year I have solely shopped from local stores and artists, on a minimal budget, and had lots of fun searching, so if they don't like at least I had fun trying!

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Sharon Burrell 1 year, 3 months ago

Hi Sharon nice to (virtually) meet you. Thanks for following and commenting. It‘s not just advertising, I think in some families there is a lot of pressure as well. 
I can respect your approach - you‘re doing good to support local talent while doing good gift giving

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Detlef Schneider 1 year, 3 months ago

I have the most beautiful and valuable gift . . .  IDAD & ILD

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Björn Roose 1 year, 3 months ago

There's a saying in Dutch: 'Ondank is 's werelds loon'. Literally it would be translated as: 'ungratefullness is what the world pays you with'. I'm not that pessimistic, but it is often true.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Björn Roose 1 year, 3 months ago

The Region near Stuttgart has a similar saying „Nichts gesagt ist gelobt genug“ which roughly translated means „it is sufficient praise to say nothing“ However the Americans are usually generous with their thank yous so that‘s harder for me to understand. Happened again this season.🙁

1 year, 3 months ago Edited