Since I was a little girl I always loved receiving gifts and this is a pretty normal thing for a child. When my birthdays were getting closer I was becoming very enthusiastic because of the materialistic part of it. So, this went on for a long time frame, until I discovered minimalism.
To start my point I would like to state the fact that I am not against presents; nor minimalism, from my view, would prohibit receiving and giving gifts. Therefore, I actually believe that some gifts could really benefit the one who accepts them.
Saying all gifts are useless and that a person should go against them would create an absolute statement which cannot be applied to all individuals. Each and every one of us is different in a unique way and the perception towards the same scenario varies. A gift can take many forms; forms that we might not even imagined so far.
My problem with birthday gifts lies in the obsession for materialistic ownership and the compulsion that creates the desire to enforce it on others. For example, I always made sure that when my birthdays would come, to give hints for things I wanted to receive. I became more focused on objects rather than on the people I spent time to celebrate my anniversaries. After the celebrations were over, I would always analyze each gift and decide if I loved it or not. Thus, if I loved the present I would be happy and if not, then I would be sad or frustrated.
Why such deep emotions have rooted inside of me and blinded me from seeing the true values in life? Why haven’t I appreciated time since time is finite? Why did I found comfort in soulless pieces?
Took me lots of years to realize where I was going and how my path was designed. Now, I am trying to remodel my view. When I began this journey, the people in my life found my way of thinking very difficult to understand. Not wishing to receive gifts anymore seemed like an absurd principle. Honestly, I didn’t want them to waste time looking for something and to spend their money, which were, again, earned with their time.
Although I appreciate the thought and the care that goes into the process, I no longer want to be a part of it. Also, the people that are not close with you will, mostly, just buy something for the sake of just giving a present. Some care and some don’t and this is OK. No one should feel obliged to give gifts or should deem others for refusing to accept them.
Last year, even though I told my friends I did not want gifts, some of them still bought something. In the end it didn’t bother me because their gift or part of it was pretty useful and I appreciated the gesture. I feel like it wasn’t necessary but I understand their choice of giving me a present.
As a conclusion, I believe that the most important gift we can make is our time and our love for the people around us. If one knows what his/her friend or family member needs and if he/she find the exact thing then that person should definitely buy it and surprise that particular friend or family member, regardless of the date. Waiting for someone’s birthday to give a present for the sake of the event is not something I want to do anymore. Also if one manages to find that particular item when that persons’s birthday arrives it’s totally fine as long as he/she doesn’t give a gift just to clutter the other one and to have served his duty for the event.
What do you think about this and how do you spend your birthdays?
“I was discovering that the most precious gift someone can give us is time, because what gives time its value is death.” ― Ingrid Betancourt,