An Italian man I worked with in the late 1990′s had explained to me how special Sundays were for him. He said his mom would cook all day so that when everyone gathered for dinner she could give her family beautiful and delicious dishes that they could enjoy. Bill said it is one of his mother’s greatest expressions of love. As time went on I learned that this is the case with many mothers from Mediterranean regions. Isn’t this touching?
I can do this with food a little bit. But when it comes to giving presents “Just Because”, for a holiday or a special occasion, the present itself and how it is presented is how I show my love.
Granted, there are many different types of love. And, for example, the love you have for a mother or father or sibling would be one type. And the respect and appreciation that you may have for a colleague is another. In both cases, though, when I give these individuals a gift, in addition to getting them something I hope they really like, I want to create a sense of excitement, anticipation and wonder for them as they are being presented the gift.
Hoping and imagining is half the fun of receiving a gift, for most of us. I think I first realized this when I was very young. On Christmas Eve when Santa was coming, I was so excited, I could hardly get to sleep. And then I’d wake up around 4 AM and tip toe into the living room and just sit and gaze with great anticipation and wonder at the beautiful sparkly Christmas tree with all of those pretty, freshly wrapped and delivered presents under it.
I remember the magic of these early experiences. I bet you do too! It is possible to capture that again, at least a little bit, by giving some special attention to your gift delivery and presentation!
One Christmas, about 15 years ago, I wanted to do something special for my best friend’s parents. They had let me keep my horse at their home that year. And because Cricket was older with a few more needs than during his younger years, people involved with his care giving often ended up being extremely generous with their time for him. Certainly, that year, no one had been more dedicated to my sweet horse than Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. And I just wanted to give them a small token of my appreciation.
I can’t remember exactly what I got for them. But I do remember that I put everything in a handsome, deep brown, rectangular box-basket. It looked like a window box that you’d put flowers in. There was a shiny gold box of Belgian Chocolate, some heavy, crisp white Irish Linen, a few imported, wonderfully fragrant soap and candles, and a small deep green English Ivy plant with long tendrils draped beautifully over the contents. And finally there was a long thick deep green velvet ribbon tied in a bow off to the side. It looked so pretty!
Well, the effect this gift had on the Johnsons was incredible! They thought it was so beautiful! They went on and on about how much they loved it. They even ended up redesigning their den around it! This is no exaggeration!
Celebrations change with each passing year. But, my desire to create a sense of excitement, anticipation and wonder for everyone receiving a gift from me is still, and always will be, there.
Going back to the title question, gift delivery and presentation – can it be as important as the gift itself? My answer would be, in most cases, nearly. It generally is a very important aspect of the gift giving experience, even though it’s so often unspoken. If you haven’t paid much attention to this in the past, try giving it a little bit. I think you will like what happens.