It is that time of the year when you want to wrap your whole year in a glossy gift paper and give to your loved ones. I was passing by one departmental store on Sunday and I saw no vacant car parking space; some people were still waiting to get their spot and run to grab something good. We live in a time when online shopping and online sales exist, but that completely crowded parking lot made me happy knowing we still put efforts in selecting the best gifts for our loved ones.
Throughout my life I received many thoughtful gifts and they meant a lot for some time. I am not a gift-card loving person, so I won’t discuss about that part where we pack some currency and call them gifts. To me, thoughts count. I remember, on my last birthday during graduation, my hostel friends made Indian rice pudding for me, because that’s how most Indians celebrate birthdays. Cutting a cake was not that eastern. Nobody knew cooking but they made the pudding tasty, and that very moment comes alive before my eyes each time I see rice pudding or birthdays.
In thirties when I understand things more clearly, I choose my gifts more wisely. I have figured out one thing- the best gifts I have are my memories, made of real people and moments. You cannot touch them again, you cannot show them off to your neighbors, but you can relish them year after years whenever you want.
I realized, The best gift that I can give someone is my time, yes, because I heard, when you give someone your time, you actually give a part of your life that you cannot get back. Mostly true. Ask anyone.
When I was sick, my friend made long distance calls every week, sometimes more than once. Our conversations were general, on how we spent our days or the color of the sky outside. But every week, I waited for her call. When I recovered, she sent me a beautiful book and a gift. In reply, I wrote to her a note of gratitude and sent her one of my most favorite books. Some years flew. I don’t remember anymore how happy I was after receiving her book and other gift. But I exactly remember how happy those phone conversations made me each time. Yes, I remember each one.
See our life is not that materialistic. It does not desire most of the things society forces us to buy. While progressing ahead, our needs are simple – we need company of our loved ones, we want to pass our family recipe to next generation, we love to share stories from the past that our future hasn’t seen yet, we want to talk about ourselves selfishly, we want to feel important, we want love, sometimes not wanting to return it quite weirdly; when someone gives us their time to do some of these, it becomes remarkable- like the best gift, the gift no departmental store could offer!
I know, many of you must have purchased wonderful gifts for your parents, spouse, siblings, children. But if you haven’t, you don’t have to be sad. Sometimes we measure happiness by number of shoes in the shoe rack, sometimes by measuring the length of our smile. So, you may try to make yourself and everyone around you happy by doing simple things- call an old friend and ask if the friend is doing good. Call someone who you wanted to call for a long time. Do something for people around you, talk to the stranger who gifted you a wonderful smile, be the change you want to see! The most wonderful gifts are still the ones that money cannot buy ever! I just checked with my experiences before saying that.
** I wanted to name this post: The Holiday gift guide, last minute edition. But I guess, I can never be that dramatic. Happy Holidays, people! Stay in love!