‘Tis the season of giving.

There is something about Christmas time that I really like. The whole atmosphere changes. The bleak winter evenings light up with Christmas trees peeping out of every house.The malls and shopping centres buzzing with activity. There is a feeling of anticipation, excitement in the air.

Every year, this time is spent shopping. Shopping to go to India. Most of our India trips used to be around this time, ChristmasΒ  being one of the less busy times of the year, when it came to work. Hours are spent in selecting the right gifts for people. I just love that bit. I love finding the right gift for all my near and dear ones. It gives one so much joy, doesn’t it? When one chances across the perfect gift for a person. Sometimes,Β  I end up shopping for far too many things. Sometimes, I would not get that elusive gift until one day before we travel. I love the whole gifting process. Selecting the gift, wrapping it up – I actually love gift wrapping – some people think that I need my head examined, but I really do like it πŸ™‚ Daughter, seems to have caught the bug too – she loves wrapping gifts as much as I do πŸ™‚ Although, I have to say, that her ‘help’Β  doesΒ  rather hampers my wrapping style πŸ™‚

This year, since our yearly trip has been postponed to July-August, I miss that shopping bit. Even the chocolate shopping used to be so much fun. There are so many varieties of chocolates and sweets that you get only around Christmas time.Β  Just as I was taking it easy and missing shopping for gifts, I was reminded that I needed to buy Christmas cards and gifts for Poohi’s classmates and friends in the nursery and teachers! Poohi had not been well for the last 2 weeks and it had completely slipped my mind. So on a week, when I had loads of work pending, I had to go and do some Christmas shopping too.Β  Writing out cards and wrapping up gifts, express speed, so that they are ready for school tomorrow – not my cup of tea, but the joy that it gave my daughter, made it all worth it.

Today’s experience just reminded me of how the gift shopping might actually be stressful for a lot of people. Especially when there are expectations tagged to the gifts. When the expectations might exceed a person’s capabilities. Or when people are disappointed by the gifts given by a person and do not even try to mask it. Or when the person receiving it, feels overwhelmed by the gifts he receives. A joyous time could just be marred by undercurrents of unhappiness, resentment and disappointment.

Which is probably why, the best gifts are not the ones bought with money, but those give from the heart. A kind word, a little help when most needed, a thoughtful gesture, a shoulder to cry on, any time of the year, might give far, far more happiness than the most expensive of gifts given during the season of giving.

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45 thoughts on “‘Tis the season of giving.

  1. I prefer the expensive gifts anyday πŸ˜‰

    I wouldn’t mind a few designer stuff myself πŸ˜‰

    Just kidding!!
    Me loves Christmas season too, for the exact same reasons you have mentioned. And if you are going to that Head Doctor, pliss to be taking me along, as I Lurve shopping for gifts and wrapping them too!!
    Merry Christmas Smitha!!

    Yes, lets go to the doc together – maybe that way we might get to meet πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas to you too!

  2. the header is beautiful, Smitha πŸ™‚

    This is my yard – last year’s snow. This year, they have been forecasting snow for the last few weeks but no sign yet 😦

    and yes, i agree..gifts aren’t just the ones that carry a price tag or anything, just being there for one another is a big gift in itself

    ‘just being there for one another is a big gift in itself ‘ -So true!

  3. A wonderful article to match what’s going on in everyone’s lives and minds at the moment πŸ™‚

    Thank you!

    You are very right how difficult it can be to match up with everyone’s expectations as far choosing a gift goes. Writing up countless greetings is definitely trying πŸ˜€

    πŸ™‚ Oh yes- it is tough at times. But I still love gifting and receiving gifts, I must say πŸ˜‰

    Am a big shopper of Christmas time chocolates πŸ˜€ Love them all.

    Oh yes! Christmas time chocolates are really out of the world!

    Is the picture in your header shot where you live?
    Yes, it is my yard – last year, when it snowed.

    Enjoy the spirit of Christmas :d

    Thank you – you too!

    Cheers!!

  4. So you are coming in July – August, huh? any trips planning to chennai ??? I need to escape somewhere with or without laxmi when you are here πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Don’t worry, Vimmuuu- I have no plans of coming to Chennai – you can stay put in Chennai πŸ™‚ Unless you plan to visit Kerala during that time;:)

    Btw, for me, you can get anything and I would accept them wholeheartedly except books and cricket accessories, which I wouldnt like even if you give me from your heart πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ I love receiving and opening gifts as much as you love gifting and wrapping them ! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


    So Smita’s gifts did not change your mind? I thought you must have got converted into a book lover after reading the books she gave you πŸ™‚ Maybe we could gift you books on reading and cricket πŸ™‚

    and if you find it tough to send or get me gifts, you can trust me with your credit card number πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
    Sure I can πŸ™‚ I trust you totally, Vimmuuu πŸ˜‰ You managed to break you own credit card – I wonder what you would do with mine? Break my bank account I guess πŸ™‚

  5. Like Pal. I love expensive gifts πŸ™‚

    I wouldn’t mind a few designer labels myself πŸ™‚ Or a gift stay at a spa πŸ™‚

    I like Christmas esp. because of the decorations…I hate Christmas because of the crowded malls and streets…

    Yes, the crowds do tend to irritating – esp towards the last few days before Christmas – it becomes manic then πŸ™‚

    Christmas in Singapore is different because it’s not white…In fact, I must sign off now ’cause I have to go for my daughter’s Christmas Concert and Party…

    My daughter has a Christmas party too, today. Her concert is tomorrow – she is all excited about it πŸ™‚

    Take care and Merry Christmas!

    You too – Merry Christmas to you!

  6. ‘the best gifts are not the ones bought with money, but those give from the heart. A kind word, a little help when most needed, a thoughtful gesture, a shoulder to cry on, any time of the year, might give far, far more happiness than the most expensive of gifts given during the season of giving.’

    I feel like this too, Smitha. It is not easy to buy gifts for people about whose tastes, we are not familiar with. People who know us, who know that whatever we buy, we take so much time to select and want to give the best gift whole heartedly, will be happy to receive and show it on their face. Some people never get satisfied with any gift, then it is boring to buy gifts for them!

    I know! I love it when somebody really likes the gift we choose for them – that joy is something else, isn’t it?

    Nice post for the Christmas time, Smitha! Happy Christmas to you and Poohi, who has helped you so much!!

    Thank you πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas to you too πŸ™‚
    The header is beautiful, Smitha!

    It is our yard – last year when it snowed πŸ™‚

  7. “the best gifts are not the ones bought with money, but those give from the heart. A kind word, a little help when most needed, a thoughtful gesture, a shoulder to cry on”. I know I am repeating these words of yours, as Sandhya has already reproduced them. But there is magic and love in them. You have left me with no choice. That is why you love to gift wrap even material gifts that you give. You certainly need to get your head examined – people need to know how they can wire theirs similarly too.

    Thank you! You are too kind πŸ™‚ Sometimes gifts like words like these are the best gifts, you know πŸ™‚

  8. I too like this season, as the weather is also at its best.

    About the presents, I have always felt like this, Imade it a rule in my family that I never give very expensive gifts and never according the price,a s to me the gifts are valuable because of the person who is giving it, and the same when I take it, so much so that i am famous in my family that I like whatever is given to me and it brings people closer to you. Nor I do this that give more importance to the people who are giving more valuable gift, to me all guests are same.


    I agree! ‘I like whatever is given to me and it brings people closer to you.’ – This is so very important. The price tag is not as important as the feelings behind the gift. The cost does not make a gift dear, does it?

  9. Wahhhh… 😦 thanks a lot… u’ve just made me London-sick all over again!!! πŸ˜›
    i can imagine ur face now: “Yea right, like u need a reason to be! πŸ™„ ”
    LOL

    LOL! London-sick should be part of the dictionary – given the number of times you have used it πŸ™‚ But yes, London does look gorgeous during Christmas πŸ™‚

    jokes apart, i’ve always felt that celebrating xmas in a western country has a lot of perks. thats like the onam of kerala, the entire place lights up. u almost forget the dark and dreary winter. and of course i loveeee the snow, the egg nog, the plum cake, the decorations, the warm fireplace, the gifts…. wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh 😦 [ see, there i go again!! ] πŸ˜› πŸ˜›


    There you went again πŸ™‚ Yes, it does feel wonderful. You should hear Poohi’s excitement everytime she sees a lit up Christmas tree πŸ™‚ We put up some days back and she has been so excited about it πŸ™‚

    • yeesh!!! in the excitement of reading of xmas i skipped to my own comment so fast that i missed out the bit on u coming in july-august!!! πŸ™„ endoru janmam! LOL

      πŸ™‚ LOL! You are a sweetie-pie, Ash!

      yay! πŸ™‚ we can plan something then! it will be just after monsoon in kerala so weather shud b good.


      Yes, yes, lets plan to meet πŸ™‚ Who know where you will be then! For all you know, you might land up in London just when I reach India πŸ™‚

      • πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ u just say the darndest weirdest things!!! i certainly hope so!
        er… not that we miss out on meeting each other… but u know what i mean!!

        Yes, I know what you mean πŸ™‚

  10. Sadly I am one of those gift -ily challenged persons :(. I can never figure out what to buy for someone else. I envy people who always mange to pick up the perfect gift.

    I get in a flap if I don’t know the person well – in that case I go a little crazy trying to find a gift πŸ™‚

    In my children’s they school they used to have “gift exchange” between the kiddies during Xmas time. Thats such an exciting time for the little ones. But the best part is the kids have to take 2 gifts (not too costly, thats the rule) one to be given to a classmate, the other to be given away for charity.

    That is a wonderful idea! I think all schools should adopt that!

  11. I go into a huge flap when I have to buy gifts. I need it to be very personal and will put a lot of thought into what to give a person. all very stressful but very rewarding to see the amazement and excitement on the recievers face.

    I know! It is all worth it when someone likes the gift we choose for them πŸ™‚

  12. You are right about giving from the heart; being thoughtful and giving a shoulder to cry. Right on Smitha.

    In India, I loved christmas for the stars and plum cakes. Now here in US, it is always the decorations in the mall and moreover the songs. Now S is practising songs like “Jingle bells”, “Rudolf the red nose reindeer” and “twelve days of christmas”, we all sing it all the time!


    Awww! Is S having a great time? Today was Poohi’s Christmas concert in school and it was so beautiful! I just loved it πŸ™‚

  13. Superb post Smithu .. it hs a festive feel to it πŸ™‚
    I luv luv luv shopping for gifts and wrapping them up too πŸ™‚ Head checked – I hv to get it done then too πŸ˜‰ Give me a Hi5!

    Hi5 Swaram! How is your prep going? All set to travel?

    All that I hv been dng the last week whenever I find time is shopping for gifts πŸ™‚
    Christmas, vacation and meeting so many friends – the best thing I cn do is shop for gifts na πŸ˜‰

    I know! it is the BEST thing πŸ™‚

    Waiting for July nw … hope we cn meet …. WTH! We will make it happen!

    We sure will! We will surely meet πŸ™‚

  14. tis is called perfect post at perfect time πŸ™‚
    me too luv the christmas time coz its kinda no office work and i m getting more time to spend with angel πŸ™‚

    In childhood we use to collect money from all neighbours buy cake and sweet and one person use to dress like santa and distribute to all near by houses…so much fun it was.
    Now its like less work and decoration in malls tht attract me πŸ™‚

    ur hearder is super cool πŸ™‚

  15. (((Which is probably why, the best gifts are not the ones bought with money, but those give from the heart. A kind word, a little help when most needed, a thoughtful gesture, a shoulder to cry on, any time of the year, might give far, far more happiness than the most expensive of gifts given during the season of giving.)))

    Rightly said !!!!

    I am very bad in wrapping and would pass on the job to my wife! When it comes to shopping i loose my patience if it drags a long time luckily my wife is a quick shopper !!!

  16. what u wrote about gifts is so true smitha..its not the cost but the thought that they spent so much time on what we would like that makes it even more speciall..
    i for myself used to(err.. i m stilling getting) a monkey soft-toy for my birthdays…
    enjoy the holiday season in UK πŸ™‚

  17. Merry Christmas…. nd thanks for the heartwarming post….

    For the first time for me here in Kuwait, Xmas will be on a Friday and hence on a holiday.. else it used to be just half a day off….

  18. True, finding the Right gift is an art & that’s why sometimes I feel giving a voucher is a better option but then the personal touch is lost!!! The feeling & satisfaction of giving something of your choice & the excitement whether it will be loved or not is lost!!!

    What happened to Poohie??

    BTW I too love Christmas time!! πŸ™‚

  19. Finding the right gift is very difficult for me,so the selecting job is hubby’s.I don’t gift wrap it but varu does it for my sisters.

    btw even i will be there in india in july, i will wait till july for a gift from smitha and poohi

  20. Even though I have never felt excitement for Christmas before; I am enjoying these glitters and decorations. I am more excited about the post Xmas sale though. πŸ˜›
    I missed all this excitement during Diwali. and somewhere I am feeling bad for this mismatch that diwali went silently and i can feel for Christmas excitement.

    I know – Diwali is hardly felt here, isn’t it? I remember, when I was growing up. Houses would be lit up for Diwali and then the lights would stay up until New years.

    The gift part totally agreed. The disliking and overwhelming both are difficult. But yet I would prefer honest opinion than back biting about how they disliked the gift or passing on the same thing to somebody else.

    I agree – bacck biting and passing on the same gift to someone else is far worse.

  21. Gifting is an art!! I too love wrapping gifts. I think its easy to buy gifts for women than men. what do u think?

    ‘I think its easy to buy gifts for women than men. what do u think? – Totally! I find it far more difficult to buy gifts for me. More so when they are colleagues and you don’t know them all that well πŸ™‚

  22. “Buying gifts for India trip” is what I am doing these days…..yipeeee, we are going!
    The season puts a twinkle in my eye, every year!
    I love love, did I say I love wrapping gifts and then seeing loved ones unwrapping them!!


    Oh you lucky girl!!!! I am so jealous of you πŸ™‚ ‘I love love, did I say I love wrapping gifts and then seeing loved ones unwrapping them!!’ – Me too!!!!!

  23. Such a beautiful writing Smitha!
    it is really an important thing that good gifts can’t be measured by their prices rather it depends solely on the feeling of individual’s heart….

    I had opened this post in my browser for 15 hours and at last commented. Your posts are always special to me, trust me πŸ™‚

    Thank you, Mahmud!

    Enjoy the Christmas πŸ™‚

    Thank you – You too!

  24. Oh Smitha, how I love the gift shopping too! There is something about the selecting the gifts (specially the surprise ones), wrapping them up and finally watching the reactions. The season just makes it more special.


    I know! The surprise ones are the best! I actually love gifts without reason too πŸ™‚ But husband will probably not be too happy with that πŸ™‚

  25. Pingback: Jingle bells… « A drop in the ocean

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