Posted by : VANITY Blog Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The holidays are within us! A time for wonderful moments. A jolly gift giving season. So, what kind of gift are you expecting? Would you want money-gifts? I wouldn’t, so I’ll explain it, I’d rather share someone’s time. Why? I’ll explain my principles for gift giving.

·       Sentimental Things - cause true, genuine, human EMOTIONS, and they strengthen BONDS.
·       Luxury Items - anything you don’t necessarily need. Something you’d WANT but can’t easily BUY.
·       Functional Stuff - the USEFUL and COOL stuff, the gifts that creates life IMPROVEMENTS.
·       Money and Cash - anything that can be SPENT. I absolutely dislike this option, but I might consider it if I need, not want, something from the HOLIDAY SALES.

To start with, the Sentimental Things are always my favourite, except when they are too sappy. They give you the best emotional reactions to gifts. Sometimes, they might not even look like material gifts, but they exist. Also, they also mean that you care more for the other person receiving this type of gift.

Examples of (Cool) Sentimental Things:

·       Any custom-made gift made by you. Works well if you’re artistic, musical, or crafty.
·       Anything that involves one of the person’s most valuable interests. Tickets for movie lovers, a sketchpad for artists, a fancy pen for academics, a chessboard for thinkers, etc.
·       Finally, what other thing beats sharing your time? Spending your time with a person beats any gift; discuss intellectual ideas, talk about the past and the following year, go around town visiting holiday hotspots, and get a cup of coffee. Make people appreciate you, not your wallet.

Remember that thought does count. Gifting anything expensive without putting thought into it makes you seem materialistic and egotistical. Then it puts guilt and a feeling of awkwardness on the person if he/she returns a “cheaper” gift.

Examples of Luxury Items:

·       What a child typically wants, the latest PlayStation/Xbox/Laptop/Apple/Android. Gaming consoles, stationary and portable. Enough said.
·       He buys Bvlgari jewellery, Louis Vuitton shoes, and the priciest Gucci bag. Then grandpa gives them to hermit cousin who does not care whether he’d taken a shower or not … seriously, think before buying senselessly.

Not all gifts over $100 are considered luxury, thoughtless freebies. Some of them actually are bought to add interest and practicality to gift exchanges. Additionally, some of them might be liked by others depending on their functionality.

Examples of Functional Stuff (That Are Actually Cool):
·       iPhone lens. They are absolutely awesome. Photographer or videographer, both would agree that those glassy attachments are the best things ever since Converse Chuck Taylors.
·       A year of Netflix, eBooks, a fitness watch, or a flash drive (USB) are all possible picks. This is the 21st century, better adapt to it rather than stay traditional in the past.
·       Clothing will always be in someone’s must-have list. However, not all kinds of clothing should be gifted. Usually, scarves, earrings, hats, belts, sunglasses, and other accessories are the safest categories to pick from.

Money and Cash:
Should you even consider it as a possible gift idea? Think about gift cards, cheques, Christmas money. Do you sense the “I-don’t-have-time-to-do-something-thoughtful” feeling when receiving or giving money? The problem is that the gift card or cash has a limit attached to is, $25, $50, $100. Why must you be bought, treated like an object, like you’re just some kind of businessman’s business? Why not be treated as a human whose emotional response is more valuable than temporary feelings of power from having $50 to spend at Walmart? Two answers: the person does not care about you or the person just does not know enough about you, so buys a gift card or gives money to be safe.

To end this, why not think about giving someone a combination of the three? Let’s say, your time and company, something useful but valuable and hard to get. For example, spend the holidays together, give the techy person- a smart-ring or a smartwatch, the gamer- a newly released video game, the fashionable- a beautiful scarf, the artist- sheet music or an arts book, the intellectual- something new to learn.

I have skipped many types of people, you can probably find out the type of person you’d gift yourself. Remember, thought over price. The value of a gift is better found by the reactions of the receiver, not on the price it displays in the stores. A present can be as rare as life, friends and a future to look forward to, or it can be as simple and lovely as a nice conversation under the winter atmosphere. 

- Angelo

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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