Gift giving came up as a topic of discussion at work the day before yesterday. Essentially, one person was asking another if they should be concerned about how a gift was received by 3rd party (not present). The question was centered around timing and the response to the gift as perceived by the gift giver. The gifter wanted to know if they should be offended.
This topic made me stop and think about one of my interactions recently.
I was always taught that gifting should be from the heart, and well thought and well executed regardless of the price tag. My mom taught me it was better to make something for someone than go buy something for them just because it would fill the gift void quickly. She always leaned towards baked goods or stitched items being those were her strong suits. I learned young my strength was drawing and I have always done art or handmade cards for my more special gifts.
So fast forward to this discussion and relating to a gift exchange between me and someone I have been attempt to reconnect with in a more casual way. I realized that my end of the gift exchange may have taken too long and that the other person might be wondering what is up with that.
The problem here is that if I’m prepping for a scheduled event (birthday, anniversary, holiday) I start my project far enough in advance to hopefully ensure it is delivered on time. But when my art is a response to a received gift, it takes longer than just running to the store or spending a few minutes online. It’s not an immediate turn around.
Additionally, I have trouble telling someone I am creating something for them because I have jobs and kids and a garden and pets. I want to complete the project, but the reality is that if I’m not getting paid or having to do something it falls to the bottom of my to-do list. It will get done, but it might take quite a while before I can fit in the necessary time to do it.
So then, I became very self conscious about not having returned the sentiment of thanks for the gift I had received. I spent about 30 minutes online browsing choices that I felt would be good picks. I put thought into quantity and descriptions of the items, especially considering known preferences my person has. I wanted to get something that would fill my time delay void, not break my bank, but show that I had tried to get something neat that I was hoping they didn’t already have. I placed my order, not expensive, but not cheap either. Then I proceeded to let my person know that my intended thank you gift was taking longer than expected but there was a substitute on it’s way.
After work I then proceeded to ensure I worked on the originally intended gift. It’s a two part project. Essentially two images, but done in electronic arts. They are Photoshop type images, but where I’m needing to do heavy retouching and assembly of multiple original sources.
The first idea was based off the “Magic the Gathering” cards I’ve had renewed interest in. I want to do an image that would look like the seraphim class in magic (angels). I’m going to put real images together to create a male angel warrior over a mountain landscape. I have most of my imagery pulled, but have yet to start peicing together the finished project.
The other project is similar, but is intended as a feel good reminder for them. I have finished it, and it’s somewhat amusing in the final image. I was aiming for giving them have something to look to for those tough days when you know you’re helping, but the evidence doesn’t really show it. We’ve all had those days and I know for sure this person has too, but they’re not one of those that says everything on their mind. So I thought if they had a quiet boost they could hide and pull out as needed it would be good.
Once I finished that part last night I sat back and said they are either going to think it’s awesome, or hilarious, or they’re going to hate it. I hope it’s one of the first two responses, and I’m sorry if they hate it. I had good intentions. I’d put it on here, but I used just their face in part of my kit-bashing, so I don’t know if they would be okay with that. Anyway, hopefully like my mom taught me, it’s the thought that counts.
Now I just have to make time to fit in the other half. It is a more complex image, so I suspect it’s going to take me about 6 hours, which means two or 3 attempts at sitting down to my design computer. I don’t know if I can pull that off this week, but I’m sure going to try.
What do you think about gift giving? Am I on the right track? Should I have told them I was working on something sooner? Or was my “fill the void” purchase what I should have done in the first place? Did I wait too long because I wanted to be casual and not seem needy? Am I overthinking this?
May you all have good gift giving experiences. May you know gifts received and gifts given, were all well thought. May you love all your gifts. May you see the kindness and forethought of any gift received. May you find yourself in gift exchanges more and more often. May you know kindness matters and that you are able to be kind enough as often as possible. May you know that all gifting is an expression of love and that some people really enjoy that particular experience. May you know how to act and when, to not seem too needy but still convey your caring. May you know you are loved and accepted just as you are.
Siva Hir Su