I was listening to a podcast by Gretchen Rubin. She was talking about how she feels awkward sometimes receiving gifts. Her sister, Elizabeth, said that she gave her mother-in-law a foot care package and her mother-in-law was a bit put off. “It was something that I would really like which is a common measure of a gift.” I say, “Forget something you would like.” Give quality that you would like but gifts should be something the receiver likes, not you.
In the book, “The Love Languages” some people really like to show love by gifting and receiving gifts. That person is listening and is aware of others. My daughter’s new boyfriend is a great gift giver. He listened to how much we liked our home town while he visited and gave us a book about the history of our town with great black and white photos.
I have another dear friend that is the total opposite. She loves tea and tea parties. For my birthday the past two years she has taken me out to high tea and presented me with a lovely single tea pot. I only drink tea if instant coffee or no decaffeinated coffee is available. I will never make myself a single pot of tea. I put the beautiful tea pot on a shelf in my office with travel mementos to think of her long time friendship.
My late mother used to ask for gift ideas. She expressed love by giving the right gift. She also enjoyed receiving a thoughtful gift or one she would use/enjoy. Her mother would battle with her sister because they gave each other gifts they felt the other “should” enjoy. Pastries to someone trying to lose weight; purple to someone that had gorgeous white hair but hated purple but– loved blue and red.
Lastly, if someone gives you a gift that you would never use or don’t like, smile graciously-thank them for taking the time to shop and wrap for you. Having someone be able to give you a gift when people don’t have basic needs being met is a blessing.
In the Magic Art of Tidying Up, she said the most freeing of advice. You don’t have to keep something just because it was a gift. The gift giver gave it to you and then it becomes your property to do with as you wish. You can display a teapot if you never will make a pot of tea and think fondly of your friend when you see it.