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It’s Not About Things, It’s About People: Why We Gift

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With so many occasions where it’s customary to give gifts, it can be easy to lose sight of why we give gifts to friends, family, and especially our children. While there might be worries about “too much” or materialism, giving gifts is a great way to show love and give out physical tokens to your family that are very valuable to the wellbeing of children. Gifts can also give brand new experiences and offer opportunities to spend time together. Gifts can remind your loved ones to take time for themselves and enjoy themselves. Even more importantly, gifts offer a chance to connect with the ones you love.

A Way to Feel Loved

Giving a gift offers a tactile way of showing that we care for our loved ones, and seeing a gift can serve as a reminder of the giver’s love. This is especially important during tough times and busy days where both adults and children can feel stress and anxiety. Being able to curl up in a favorite sweater gifted by Grandma can be comforting; a little one being able to hold a teddy bear during a storm, that was given to them by their parent, can soothe fears. Even if gifted items aren’t especially functional, they can serve a purpose of reminding you of someone that you love.

Making New Memories

Giving someone a gift can be a way to give them a new experience. This can be something like a gift card to an event or a show - but it can also be a physical present. For example:

  • Give a favorite book and let a loved one go on an imaginative adventure
  • Watch old films with younger children (we just watched Mary Poppins!) and let them see it for the first time while adults relive their own memories
  • Adults might teach a child a new game or a sport to go with a new gift - this serves as a wonderful reminder of spending time together

Your child might lose their baseball but they’ll remember the afternoon you spent with them teaching them to play catch. A shiny new bicycle can unlock new experiences and new fun. These sorts of gifts build memories that stick with children as they grow up.

The Gift They Would Never Ask For

Giving gifts is also a way to ensure that loved ones take a moment for themselves and have something they enjoy. Adults may prioritize the needs of others and after the essentials are covered may not have the means to get something nice for themselves. Giving a gift often means giving someone something they wouldn’t otherwise get for themselves such as a nice necklace, a new jacket, or a gift card for a night out. This can also be true in regard to gifts for children. Sometimes a child’s favorite toys and books are things they never would have considered asking for. This can also extend to lifelong amusements like musical instruments and sports.

Maybe the world is becoming increasingly more material, but the act of gift giving has never really been about the things. For many of us, giving a gift is about seeing the smile on the face of someone we love and spending time with them.

 Tell us - what’s your favorite part of gift giving?

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