It has been ages since I have participated in an exchange gift scheme. The “monito-monita” thing is really fun but I realised that I didn’t fully appreciate the idea that you are somewhat forced to give something because you’re a part of it. It defeats the purpose of “giving”.
Christmas reminds us of the spirit of giving. Hell, it’s not just Christmas but should be all year round. If you want to give, give. You don’t have to feel pressured to wrap that present and give to someone whose name you drew out of a fish bowl “in the spirit of fun and the season”.
To be honest I have rarely given gifts myself to any of the people close to me in a lot of occasions. It could be either I’m trying to make ends meet so bad at that time – just like now – or I felt that whatever tangible object I could give, they’re so much capable of getting it for themselves that I just show them gestures of love instead. A very few of my loved ones may be able to tell you how much I love them. I’d literally go out of my way and at some point tried to put my life to a pause just to be with them.
I have done my own gift-giving, away from the ever criticising eyes of people. I do not intend to be sneered at for talking about how and who I’ve given to so I’d rather not get into the details. To make it simple, at some point I have paid it forward… to nameless, faceless individuals we often ignore. I’ve shared spare stuff, maybe even divided what I have, and at some point only left something what I feel I need at the moment. It doesn’t matter.
It just breaks my heart to see how selfish and greedy I could sometimes be and see someone out there with practically nothing. And then also comes the idea that, yeah, I feel obligated to buy presents for these friends, or relatives, or colleagues because they might be gutted if I don’t. Probably think that I’m the one that usually takes and never extends an arm. These people that think of you that way… I say never mind them.
In light of the coming occasion, I wish we all realise how important it is to be with that person who values you so much, or maybe needs you so bad.
I wish we all see that however great the feeling of giving is, it is important that we do not feel like we are forced to show that gesture. It has to come from our hearts, not peer pressure or any other outside forces.
Giving is not mandatory – not like the taxes imposed on us. It has to be something you are willing and able to do. It’s not just things that money can buy that we can give. A couple of hours at a coffee shop with a friend who wants to talk would do. A surprise home-visit to a relative who has been meaning to catch up with you. A walk in the park, a warm hug and a silent understanding of a difficult situation someone is in, a sincere and friendly smile, a wink that says it will be okay, and a silent prayer.. they are all gestures of giving.