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 loft of every house (which were received as gifts) – I have been trying to figure out, what can anybody do with ten wall clocks? 🙂
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 looking 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!!’ 🙂
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?