Giving is better than getting this season 

Photo by Kash Patel

Although there’s nothing quite like the feeling of receiving a thoughtful holiday gift from someone special during the holidays, there’s also nothing like curating a personal gift that you know will be greatly appreciated by another person.

In my opinion, the process of creating a gift tailored to another individual’s personal preferences with a thoughtful element of surprise is underrated.

Gift giving can represent many things to different people, but above all, it represents consideration.

This consideration is made up of a brief moment shared between two people, in which someone enthusiastically mentioned a personal interest and someone else understood it.

The corresponding gift bought due to this consideration of someone else could be as personal as something related to someone’s display case at home – or as easy as getting someone a Starbucks gift card to help them keep up with their workaholic schedule.

A gift can be a demonstration of attentiveness – a physical embodiment of validation that someone has, in fact, listened to a story we told. Remembering something small that made a positive impact can really make someone’s cold winter day just that much warmer (on the inside).

The art of noticing refers to how an individual notices elements of the world around them; their ability to reflect on how other people interact and make sense of the world in conjunction with how the individual constructs meaning from these factors. It’s about being present and observant.

One can use the art of noticing to optimize their gift-making strategy such that it holistically represents the person they are thinking of.

This strategy is also a great grounding technique that allows us to wholly experience the world.

I like to incorporate the art of noticing into the way I curate gifts – whether it’s arts & crafts, handmade clothing or practical items for all purposes.

The organic nature of hand-made objects will always have a timeless value, independent of the unforgiving culture of trends and hypercapitalism.

I believe that packaging, wrapping and intricately interwoven ribbons are essential to upholding the spirit of presenting a gift.

This once again ensures that undivided attention went into the process of creating the gift that should be unique – just like its recipient.

I once purchased a jacket from a girl online. In the coming weeks, I waited patiently for my parcel to arrive. When I finally had the chance to open it, there was a small, delicately hand painted piece of canvas inside with the jacket.

It depicted a pastel-toned morning at the beach, entirely unrelated to anything we had discussed or my purchase.

Her handwritten letter thanked me for my business, and hoped that I liked the painting (which I have on my wall).

Another time, an overnight coworker left a drawing of my favorite video game character on a sticky note stuck to my computer so that I would see it first thing in the morning. I believe that it’s through small gestures that showcase time delegated towards an act of passion that brings people together.

Whether it’s your parents randomly bringing a bowl of fruit to your room or your partner surprising you with a bouquet of flowers just because, brief moments in time like a sincere smile flashed from the recipient are captured in our memories long after the moment has passed.

It’s why I like to think it’s called a present – a small piece of time encapsulated in the present.

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