We’ve got to understand why we are giving a gift.
Is it to celebrate something?
Is it to honor an occasion?
Is it to appreciate someone?
Is it to show love?
Is it to build friendship?
Is it to make someone happy?
Is it to apologize?
Is it to surprise the recipient?
Is it to capture someone’s attention?
Is it to respond to an interest that someone has?
Is it to brag?
Whatever our reason, a gift should be thoughtful. It should be of use to the recipient. I’ve got it wrong many times giving someone a gift because I thought they would like it. I didn’t ask myself if it’s something they really needed. I didn’t put my mind to it.
Sometimes we get it wrong before getting it right. Maybe we get it wrong all the time. Ultimately, we’ve got to put in a thought process, time or effort to finding or doing something relevant.
During last year’s Afrobloggers Winter Blogging Challenge, someone on their blog said they liked postcards. So I went to the Post Office in Kampala, bought a postcard, scribbled a few words on it and found a way of sending it to this person.
I gave it to a workmate who was travelling. This workmate would give it to another colleague who she’d meet where she was going. This second colleague would give it to a third person who would finally deliver the package home to its intended recipient.
Did it cost me an arm and a leg? Nope.
Did I consider what the other person said they’d like to have? Yes.
Was the recipient happy about it? I think so.
Do I want to try it again? Maybe.
A gift shouldn’t be a passing thought taking an aimless stroll through your mind. A gift should give the recipient an experience. It should leave a good taste.
When I left my former workplace to travel to this country I’m in, one of my workmates got me a scarf.
“I know it’ll be cold at a certain point. You’ll need this.”
I can’t forget those words. The scarf came in handy and I dearly value it.
Whereas some people like gifts for their functionality, others like brands. To them, if it isn’t apparel, a gadget, a scent, or anything that has a recognizable name, then you’ve fallen short of giving them something meaningful.
Know the recipient of your gift. Know what holds value to them.
And so, what gifts should you not give someone of the opposite sex? Don’t give them something you didn’t think through.
I’m still learning the art of gift giving.