Holiday gift giving is a tradition that always piques my interest, if only for the fact that people in America have grown so accustomed to the idea that they feel obligated to be a part of it all. The fact of the matter is that no one has to do it. It’s just what families and even friends have come to expect from one another, and so everyone continues to give gifts as if they each owe each other something.
Of course, gift giving can be a negative thing if one party has a lower socioeconomic status, because then the gifts exchanged between two parties aren’t “equal” in terms of value. This can cause resentment from either party, or it can cause people to fall out. Obviously I’ve never met someone who has fallen out of good faith with their family all over mere presents, but I definitely have heard stories of certain families becoming angry with one another around the holidays for very similar reasons.
If anything, I think the presentation of it all can make up for the price differences between gifts, and that’s something that packaging supplies companies benefit from largely around this time of year. When you think of some of the coolest gifts, the first thing you probably think of is uniqueness and application to you and your own interests. There’s no substituting for something that just speaks to you when you open it. THAT is the greatest feeling about loving something someone got for you.
But when you think about some of your other favorites, I guarantee you that the presentation and packaging played a big part to you without ever probably realizing it. Whether it was the twine or bows on the gift wrapping, the pattern or design of the wrapping paper, or just the color scheme that your gifter came up with, these things can really be memorable and stand out. Who would’ve thought packaging supplies would influence your perspective on a gift so much?
I think that, ultimately, we all need to temper our expectations around the holidays when it comes to gifts. For me, I ask for less and less each year and also give less and less. Sometimes people find this weird, but I think that my presence at holiday functions and the ideas I share with people close to me are what matter most. Sure, I could buy you a $20 trinket that I’m not sure you’ll ever use, but what’s the originality and genuine interaction in that?