Celebratory Gift Thrift.
Then said a rich man, Speak to us of Giving. And he answered:
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
(Gibran.K., The Prophet, p.26)
Life is a progression of milestones and celebrations which are often marked by the giving and receiving of gifts. If, like me, you have a large family and dear friends you probably need to find a way to give that will not send you broke. We have all heard the sayings it’s the thought that counts and it is more blessed to give than receive, well, these sayings are actually true. The secret to thrifty gift giving is to give of yourself, in your own very unique style, gifts which are given with love will truly bless the recipient.
There are many occasions for gift giving opportunities: births, birthdays, engagements, weddings, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, thank-you gifts, farewell gifts, graduation gifts, gifts for other significant life events and gifts for the joy of giving. Fortunately, we usually have a good idea when opportunities for giving are coming up and so can budget and be prepared.
Divide gift recipients broadly into three groups. Firstly, really important people in your life, the people closest to you; you get to decide who they are. Secondly, the next group of people who make your life richer. For example family, siblings, in laws, out laws, and close friends. Thirdly, work colleagues, acquaintances from various groups to which you belong and neighbours. Set a budget for gift giving and decide how that budget is divided.
Try to streamline gift giving. The world is already overthinged and people often give themselves what they really want, so give the gift of experiences. Avoid store gift vouchers unless you are confident they will be used. Research shows many gift vouchers are never redeemed and if this is the case it is a waste of money. Often the best gift is simply being together and sharing each other’s company.
Incidental giving is a wonderful thing, giving just for the heck of it. Homemade baking is a suggested gift; biscuits, slices, scones; whatever you like.
Buy a slice baking tray and a lovely tea towel and bake a slice, leave it uncut on the tray, wrap in the tea towel and give to a busy mum who gets to keep the baking tray and the tea towel.
Homemade jams, marmalades, pickles or relishes are always a welcome gift.
Fresh cut flowers, a selection of fresh herbs bundled together or fresh produce from the garden.
Potted herbs, fruit trees, passion fruit vines, fruiting strawberry plants or potted plants.
The secret to all this home made, home grown gift giving is in the presentation. When giving home made or home baked, include a list of ingredients and the recipe. This is authentic giving.
Oh, the games people play now, every night and every day now,
never meaning what they say now , never saying what they mean,
while they wile away the hours in their ivory towers,
till they’re cover up with flowers in the back of a black limousine.
Lyrics from The Games People Play by Joe South.
I have been to many funerals and am always impacted by the fact that regardless of age, gender, wealth or any other variable, we end up in a nice box with a bunch of flowers on the top. My litmus test for living is that if I were told I had two months to live, what would be important? And I know the answer to this. What will be important is that the people I love know they are loved and that I am ready for eternity. Give to the living and show love and appreciation while they are here to receive it. The biggest bunch of flowers sent to a funeral service is poor compensation for years of opportunity to show love and appreciation to those who have been placed in our lives as close fellow travellers.
Life itself is a gift to be celebrated. “All you have shall some day be given; Therefore give now that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors“. (The Prophet. p.30)
This will be the last post in The Shift to Thrift series. I hope you have enjoyed some of the writings and thank you to everyone who has engaged in the posts and made comments when the writings have hit a chord with your own way of viewing the world.
If I were to sum up this series it would go something like this; In implementing the shift to thrift, an individual will take and use less of all of nature’s finite resources; they will give and share more of themselves and their blessings and paradoxically, they will be blessed even more bountifully.