Thursday, October 25, 2012

Giving and Receiving the Perfect Gift

One of the things that The Boyfriend’s mother and I have in common is our passion for op shopping. There’s one difference, however, between us. She has a Salvos shop on the corner of her street so she’s only a few houses away from bliss and I, alas, don’t.

A few weeks ago Teenage Daughter was in the car with The Boyfriend’s mother and they drove past the Salvos Store. Teenage Daughter saw a dress she liked in the window but the shop was closed at the time. When she returned to look for it, she couldn’t find it. End of story, right? Wrong!

Yesterday evening Teenage Daughter got her birthday present early from The Boyfriend’s mother. She unwrapped the carefully put together package and it was difficult to tell who was more excited as she did so, Teenage Daughter or The Boyfriend’s mother. When it was fully unwrapped, there sitting in tissue paper was The Dress. Apparently, The Boyfriend’s mother went to the shop after Teenage Daughter had been and did a more thorough search which resulted in finding The Dress on the designer rack. Not only did she find it but it was in Teenage Daughter’s size!

It was one of those situations in which the giver and the recipient are both very happy with the end result. In addition to that, it was a real Footprints moment.

My favourite gifts to receive are those that show that the giver truly knows me. My father – Dear Old Dad – gives me gift certificates for Kiva, an organisation through which one can loan money to someone, usually in a Third World country, to set up a business. It’s a case of giving someone a fishing rod rather than a fish. He knows that it’s a perfect gift for me. Once a loan is paid off, I never want my money back I just put it into a new loan. I also like getting Oxfam unwrapped gifts or having a donation given to a worthy cause. A friend recently gave me a photo frame made from recycled and cleaned up bike chain. I thought that was really cool.

Likewise they’re my favourite gifts to give. Gifts like that are not always welcome, however. As Dear Old Dad once said to me, you need to be very sure when giving gifts like that. Consequently, I find present buying really stressful. I want to buy ethical and eco-friendly presents but I also want people to like them. Ultimately, I simply chicken out and give vouchers or money. For Christmas last year I gave my sister and her family tickets to a night out at the baseball, something she went out of her way to thank me for and tell me was a very welcome gift.
At present I’m getting pretty excited about Teenage Daughter’s 18th birthday on Sunday. I guess after that I’ll need to rename her Adult Daughter! I’m pretty sure she’ll like the present we got her.


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