Well, they certainly can be. Then there are those gifts that we have all been given that are not so great. I don't want to step on any one's gift giving abilities, so please take what I am about to say with the knowledge that it is coming from me---the girl who has a tattoo that reads SIMPLIFY! Okay, I should have maybe put that little tidbit about myself in my profile, but I wanted us to get to know each other a little more before I disclosed that information. I fought getting a tattoo for years. So many I knew were getting them. I wanted my tattoo to really mean something to me and I wouldn't get one until I was sure of what that important meaning would be.
So the day came, when I was 37 and approaching 40, you know, in three years, and I had an inspiration. Why not have my tattoo read SIMPLIFY? It is the one word that encompasses all that I believe in. If you clear out the clutter, you feel better. If you donate, you have given to someone. If you take the time to make the time, the important things in life bubble to the top of your list. So I did it. I walked into the parlor and had my word. The artist that had been recommended to me said, "Are you sure you don't want me to jazz it up a bit?'' And then immediately after, "that would just complicate things." l liked this guy right away. He got it.
So, on to gift giving. There are those times when an actual material object is appropriate and genuinely wanted and appreciated. But think about all of the other times. You need a hostess gift. A gift for a client. For your friends, a work gift exchange and the list goes on. How about we start a movement? We only gift consumables? Make it personal if you like. You know the favorite coffee shop that your friend likes---perfect, a gift card. Make it generic if you don't know the person well. Make your famous pickles and gift them. Your friend appreciates this more than there are words in the dictionary to describe. Friend, you know who you are.
So, in a nutshell, spice up some one's day with flowers, gift cards, handmade, home-cooked consumables. They will use these gifts and remember who gave it to them while enjoying it. And by the way, for those of you who don't know, my tattoo is on my shoulder. Smile.