About the choice of gifts (during house warming, marriage, etc)

When we were kids, we used to be so excited about the gifts we receive (usually toys, games etc) during our birthday. It was sort of ok then, because kids always like useless things. But somehow we have taken this tradition of gifting useless things even after we grow up, on occasions like marriage, housewarming, festivals, etc.

There will be a whole bunch of clocks, statues, picture frames, kitchen utensils etc, in the loftΒ  of every house (which were received as gifts) – I have been trying to figure out, what can anybody do with ten wall clocks? πŸ™‚

But the intention of the people who are gifting should not be criticized. Everyone wants to gift something useful – So during house warming ceremonies, everyone gifts clocks! Or everyone gifts glass juice tumbler set. So, people receive about 50-100 glass juice tumblers for a family of four! And they would already have purchased about 10 for drinking juice (including any guests)! Some people want to prove that they are artistic, and hence gift artistic photo frames, statues, flower vases, etc. So, if all those photo frames, statues and other decorative items (that are got as gifts) are arranged in the house – it will drive art galleries out of business!

Marriages gifting is even worse – One can start a clothes shop after a marriage! Everyone (down south) gives one Saree and one set of shirt-pants. This notwithstanding, the bride and groom would have already bought a suit (which the groom will wear once in his life – during the reception), a Kanchipuram/Mysore Silk Saree (that is not less than ten thousand rupees, which might be used – if it survives the competition from other Sarees, about once in a year after marriage) and many more dresses for themselves and their close relatives. No wonder the business for garment shops is thriving!

Some people think they are so caring, and express their tender care through flowers – I mean, bouquets. There is even one Tamil movie in which Prabhu and Ramya Krishnan act, where everyone gifts bouquets for their reception – and they are left with a huge bunch of colourful flowers!

Imagine the plight of the bride/ groom when the relatives call after a couple of days to ask if they have seen the gifts – For every useless gift, they have to say, ‘We were ourselves lookingΒ  for this – how thoughtful of you – your gift was so useful!’ . Actually, what they are indirectly saying is – ‘Wait till your son/daughter gets married. We will buy something more useless than what you have gifted to us!!’ πŸ™‚

The only gift that people give properly are the silver tumblers – not because of their use in drinking water or anything else, but because of the value of the metal and that too, when it it sold. And a few people give cash.

So, why not just gift cash (or) gift cards – let the people involved buy whatever they might actually require, instead of we taking wild guesses? What’s your experience, and what’s your idea of a proper gift?

Destination Infinity

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22 Replies to “About the choice of gifts (during house warming, marriage, etc)”

    1. Some people do that – ask for what gift is needed, before buying it. The problem with that is, at least three people might gift a mixer! So, before the marriage even if the couple wanted a mixer and indicated as much to you, there is no guarantee that others may not gift a mixer…

      Destination Infinity

  1. I think people who gift flowers are cruel…… Imagine giving someone a moment of joy and then leaving them to clean up all the mess that is created afterwards….. My grandparents received about 30 bouquets on their anniversary… We had a tough time disposing them off

    1. Flowers might be a good gift for certain occasions – like husband gifting flowers to wife (well, one of the gifts) on wedding anniversary. But on other more general functions, especially where a large number of people are attending – it might be a bad idea of a gift. And besides, flowers give momentary joy (as you said) to certain people at certain ages only. I did not think about the disposing flowers part earlier!

      Destination Infinity

  2. I think nowadays here in uk its become common in asian families too , to make a list of what they need and then the guests can choose and the best they do is ask for a Shops vouchers .. that way they can have the money and then choose it on there own thats a good idea.. plus easier for people like me who can never decide what ot buy for gift…

    When i bought my first house i had some friends for some drinks and as you said almsot all of them brought Scotch glasses at that time these were new in trent with golden circle on top and Big heavy Dotted base .. So you are right i stil lgot some unopened glasses up in my loft πŸ™‚

    Bikram’s

    1. That happens with everyone. But people do gift the same gifts (that they received) to others! πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  3. I completely agree with u with regard to glass tumblers and wall clocks.For our house warming ceremony 20 years back we got those gifts and my mom still has few of them.Most of them she gave it to her office helpers and her house maid.

    You know few people just re-warp those gifts and they gift to others and sometimes it happens that the same person gets his gift back (it happened to my cousin once).

    I prefer gifting sliver items or cash.

    1. I thought there was a probability of getting back their own gift, but didn’t know anyone to whom that has happened! That should have shocked them πŸ™‚

      Thats the problem with glass/ kitchen items – one cannot sell them. At least silver can be sold for some price, if one doesn’t need it – so that should be a good choice for a gift.

      Destination Infinity

    1. I think its important to give cash, especially for families that are not economically so well off. They might need it. But there are some families, which are hell bent in spending the cash received as gifts to buy useless things voluntarily. To these people, slightly more responsible gifting like silver, might be a better idea πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  4. When we are newly married, we set up our house and even use some unwanted gifts, like the photo frames, pictures etc. After some years, we are fed up of looking at our house with so many ugly looking cheap clocks and different types of Ganeshas (my show case must be having, let me check, 19 ganeshas!).

    Sarees and shirts too…the presents are given without knowing our taste….people just want to ‘give’!

    Flowers are also expensive and stay for one or two days and then they are useless!

    Cash or gift checks are the best! Unless I know the person very closely, I prefer to give cash in a decorated envelope – we get them in malls!

    1. I generally tend to forget to buy an envelope and use the invitation cover to put the cash inside and give it! πŸ™‚

      The point is, anyway the people are going to spend some money to buy gifts – why not just give cash so that it could be spent usefully! And about the choice of sarees/shirts – I have seen people selecting dress materials for others in lightning speed while they spend so much time selecting the dresses for themselves! 19 Ganesha statues? πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  5. HI DI,

    First time commenting here. πŸ™‚

    Here is Kerala. Gifts are generally brass items. Like the traditional lamp. I think I have at least 15 of them in different shapes and sizes. πŸ™‚

    I think cash is the best idea. At least people can use the cash to cover a part of the wedding expenses. πŸ™‚

    1. I have seen many brass items when I was younger – Nowadays, I don’t see them much – Wonder why! And on the wedding expenditures – it requires a separate post. I too think cash is the best gift we can give – Along with the gift, we give the gift of choosing as well πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  6. Hahaha….. πŸ™‚
    With my wedding coming up….this remains a relevant topic for me. I am sure I will be receiving my share of useless gifts…. πŸ˜› πŸ™„
    Thank goodness for the friends who shall be first ASKING me what I want and then proceeding πŸ™‚

    1. I heard somewhere that (in some other country) they mention on the invitation to gift cash, if they want to gift. Maybe you can indicate something similar (in sweet words) about the preference of gifts – but not as much explicitly mentioning about the same. In India, a direct mention like that might be considered rude (and is good fodder for talk of the town). But someone needs to start the trend – Go for it Ash πŸ˜€

      Destination Infinity

  7. Better to give money than a thoughtless gift! However nothing like finding out what the person needs and then buy him/her the thing that is sorely needed.

    1. I see people asking for what gift is required, more these days. A useful gift is always appreciated on the long run.

      Destination Infinity

  8. “the bride and groom would have already bought a suite” suite or suit??? πŸ˜›
    In Bengalis gifts are mostly given to the bride no matter from which side..and its something in gold + saree. Gold is most welcome but for other distant guests I say “give cash”!! πŸ˜€ Pity we can’t actually say it πŸ˜€

    1. Ok, thats a spelling mistake alright! Ill change it. Yeah, if we say so they’ll assume that we have disrespected them or their taste…

      Destination Infinity

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