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The art of gifting

I’m not sure if such a thing exists but then, I know there are people (including some of my close friends and, of course, my better half!) who’re really great at gifting. I’m not. In fact, I just suck!

Nonetheless, all that self-criticism doesn’t really help matters. I used to believe extending a gift is all about convey your best wishes (read: intent) to the others. But I’m not sure if people would agree with that. Just ask the couple who received the “Men are from Mars…” book-set as their wedding gift (quite expensive for gifts, but I definitely thought it was worth the price).

It’s been 14 years and I haven’t heard back from them. I guess I know what a “life-ban” feels like.

Sure, I had the best intentions but people usually don’t give a damn. Like my friend says, “don’t impose your gifts onto others.” He’s right. I actually should be thinking from their perspectives.

So, I started to ask some of my close friends and boy, they’ve got their own theories when it comes to gifting! Like one of my friends who only believes in giving cash gifts (as if he were everyone’s uncle!) because it’s convenience and super-useful. I totally agree with that but here’s the kicker — he has a qualifying criteria for the amounts he’s gifts! For example:

  1. INR 1,000 to INR 2,000 — family friends and/or acquaintances
  2. INR 2,000 to INR 3,000 — friends, friends by associations
  3. INR 3,000 to INR 5,000 — close friends, family
  4. INR 5,000 to INR 10,000 — best friends, special friends, very close family members/cousins etc.
  5. Above INR 10,000 — come on! You’re not everyone’s uncle, alright? Get a life!

While the above is super convenient it sounds so damn transactional! At least to me. Though, I gotta say I used the strategy above once and felt shitty about it for weeks!

As of now, I don’t have a gifting strategy. If I know the person, I’ll try to get them something they like or can appreciate. In other cases, I check with some of my friends who’re better “sifters” than me or just ask my better half! That works for me almost at all times!

That said, I still think books make the best gifts. I wish that couple I gifted the set of John Gray’s book can appreciate that. If they’re still together, that is, but they would have to read the damn books!