Feature Story

The Gift of Giving and Receiving (Conclusion)

Part 2

The Art of Giving Gifts

MY friend complained that her husband gives her a pair of gold earrings EVERY BIRTHDAY to the point that she doesn’t really look forward to it anymore. She said that after a few years of receiving the same, she would feign eagerness in opening the gifts. But of late, she would give a faint smile, open the gift and thank her husband dispassionately though that never occurred to her husband.

When I asked her why he chooses to give her earrings, her response was, “That’s the easiest for him to get, there’s a jewelry shop in the same building where he works.”

In my hope to understand, I asked her further, “But why earrings only? A gold shop would be carrying a multitude of necklaces, bracelets, brooches and rings to mention a few?”

“Well…” she continued, “… I suppose earrings would be the safest for him to purchase because with earrings, you don’t need size to measure, they’re small when weighed thereby, more cost-friendly? Brooches? I doubt he even knows what those are for. Besides, can you imagine a guy with a tray of bracelets to choose from? Or necklaces where he would be bothered for the design for the pendant and then chain to match it!”

Someone suggested that she tells her husband about it but she was horrified at the idea, exclaiming that it would be rude and insensitive to do that to a person who just wants to gift you with something, albeit lacking the imagination for it.

Imagination! Gift giving should be coupled ALWAYS with imagination and creativeness!

Isn’t it when we give gifts we are trying to say something? Happy Birthday, a gift… I love you, a gift… Ramadan Mubarak, a gift… Happy Hanukkah, a gift… Congratulations, a gift… Best wishes, a gift… Merry Christmas, a gift… Even more, sometimes when we can’t express our true feelings, we resort to gift-giving! I’m sorry, a gift… I have a crush on you, a gift… A gift is always accompanied by the giver’s sentiments towards the receiver. And if “Feelings” are involved, what better way of communicating but with flair!

There should be art in gift-giving!

Not to diminish gift-giving solely for the gifted, though (pardon the pun), all I’m trying to say is, a gift should represent a person’s character, could be the giver’s, the receiver’s or both. Since we mean to say something with every gift, however trivial the message (like, “Have a nice day!”), the gift transmits a certain part of the giver to the receiver and to anyone else who witnesses the gift-giving; so why not give it and actually mean it! Again, not in its weight in currencies!

There is ‘art’ in heart after all!

For many though, ART is time-consuming. Using one’s imagination or creativity could be an arduous task too for it is a talent some believe as inherent to specific members of society and deficient in others. It doesn’t have to be that way with art!

Art is the EXPRESSION of one’s imaginative or technical prowess or abilities meant to be shared and appreciated for its beauty or emotional power. Keywords: Expression, imaginative, technical, beauty, emotional power.

There again, that word, Imagination.

ALWAYS use your imagination when giving gifts… that would be “thoughtful” isn’t it? For that is gift-giving, thoughtfulness. When you think about what to give someone, why you’re giving it and how you’re giving it… that’s thoughtfulness… you’re using imagination in many ways… Art. Transcend the power of emotions by giving it from the heart… Art. If you are able to, make the gift yourself…Art. Remember that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, the works of your hands guided by your heart will always be beautiful.

If you think you can’t create anything yourself, enjoy shopping for it… relish and be nifty in wrapping it with love!

Finally, feel utterly blessed in being instrumental making another person happy; for that is what a gift is truly all about. Happiness that springs from a thought carved by pure emotions from the heart, from the one who gives it whole-heartedly and the one who receives it humbly.




Kleo Hernandez-Kannangara
Kleo has a Communication Arts degree from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines which she earned in 1986. She lives in the United Arab Emirates and is married to a Sri Lankan. She has four children, all of whom were born at the UAE. She describes her self as a “stay-at-home mom” who’s always on the road doing errands for everyone, and an “inspirational’ writer which according to her means "I write when inspired by a person, place or event."

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