It is that time of the year again. The time of gift shopping where I spend many hours contemplating what to buy and for whom. Each year, as my bills become more expensive, I generally return to the philosophical conundrum of the commoditisation of this feast. The experience of gift giving seems to have been hijacked by a social expectation of giving a gift which is not cheap. The more expensive the gift, the more important the person is. On other occasions, I purchase expensive gifts because I know that the person will give me an expensive presents. I find this removes part of the mindfulness inherent in gift giving.

I remember a time when gifting presents was about making a thoughtful offer to someone special by giving, without the pretence of receiving, a meaningful gift that touches the heart. My blog today is not intended to be a hopeless romantic piece of writing. My idea is to help those, who perhaps are in the same grey area are like me; at a loss of what to buy those around us. I find that these three tips help me get sorted out.

  1. Purchase gifts which can help the person in the life. Expensive does not mean useful.
  2. Be attentive at the marketing influence. Advertisement will make you believe that you need things that are ultimately useless. If you are purchasing gifts for children, you do not necessarily have to buy those famously educational games. Sometimes a ball is an excellent gift that will help child development immensely.
  3. Do not discount on the cards. The card helps you to put your thoughts into words. Sometimes, this is the most magical part of gift giving.


Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness. He offers parent coaching and social work sessions. He can be contacted on

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