Sunday, December 20, 2009

The joy of giving...

Giving. With no expectation of anything in return. Not even a thankyou.

This year we decided that we had to re-evaluate our reasons for giving Christmas presents. Last year I was very disheartened when one of the presents I had spent some time putting together was barely even unwrapped before being placed aside. I had to prompt the recipient to continue opening the packaging because there was more in there that they hadn't even gotten to.

Afterwards, I started to think about why I had given this person a present in the first place.
Was it because I felt I had to?
Or because I wanted a thankyou and a present in return?
Or because I wanted to give them something nice that they would enjoy?

I realised it was a bit of all three. I felt I had to buy them a present, and I expected at least a thankyou in return, but the effort I went to putting the present together was because I wanted to ensure it was something they would enjoy.

So this year I have decided that the frustration and even resentment that I felt after observing their response to my present was not worth it. And so this Christmas we are giving presents simply because we want to. For the simple pleasure of giving. In the knowledge that we have spent time thinking about what each person would like and enjoy. And I'm not going to give the presents that I have felt that I have to give. This year, the only presents I will be giving are the ones I want to give. And I don't expect anything in return.

I don't for one second think that it will be as easy as that. If I am faced with a situation similar to last years, I'm sure I will get frustrated. But I hope to be able to quickly remind myself of my motives, and then move on.

And so today I began my giving. Another pointy kitty went looking for a home today in Inner West Sydney as part of the Toy Society Worldwide Christmas drop. I was drop #36 and the last time I checked there was over 50 drops reported. All those toys being dropped in the hope that someone will rescue them, and knowing that you may never know what happened to them or even hear from the recipient. But I did it because I wanted to. And I hope someone gets as much joy from Miss pointy kitty as I have.


Kate said...

Its frustrating to put so much thought/effort into a present, only to have it put aside so easily. I feel your pain!

Pointy kitty is gorgeous; you may not get a response but Im sure she'll go to a loving home.

Deb said...

I agree with you Renee about giving, it is so much nicer to give for giving's sake, because you want too. It feels fabulous to make a smile appear and to know that a gift is appreciated.
Sadly when it ends up being unappreciated it does leave a horrid taste.
A lesson for all- be thankful for thankfuls sake. Feel the feelings of others.
Your kitty is so gorgeous and what a wonderful idea the Toy Society drops are.
Have a wonderful christmas, with many joyful memories and lots of love and laughter,

The Toy Society said...

Yay Renee, you totally get the whole Toy Society thing! Thanks so much for being part of it.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your gift giving this year too. xxx

Dolores said...

Pointy kitty is special and I do hope you hear from the recipient. But, if you don't rest assured that she will be loved.

Sarah said...


Lovely kitten. Wished I had the moment to do one of these as well, Next year - I have ALL year to make one.

mum said...

I must say that to me a HUG and a KISS forChristmas and birthdays are all I have ever asked, but when Renee and her husband arrive in melbourne on wednesday THAT will be the only present I want.
To all you lovely people who follow Renees blog Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year x

Anita said...

That's really sad that the person didn't appreciate your present fully. Especially as it sounds as though you've put a lot of effort into. I've heard of young children tearing through presents to find the one they're looking for, not appreciating the others - although not many adults.

I hope everyone gets a whole lot of joy out of the presents you have chosen for them this year Renee.
Sounds like you're mum's already happy with her present of you and your husband visiting!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, have a great time in Melbourne with your family and friends!

P.S. The kitty is super cute!

teresa said...

Gosh I know exactly where you are coming from. This is what I am doing this year too. I have also made a lot of my presents this year and put everything into those gifts because I just can't wait to give them to the recipients. I really hope to join the toy drop next year, I think it's such a wonderful thing to do, but found out about it too late. Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe, healthy and happy New Year. Please tell your mum thanks for the Christmas wishes and right back at her!!! xxxx

Julia @Mélanger said...

Agree with you! I rarely buy gifts anymore. Our family don't do them. We'd rather give money to charity instead!

Leanne said...

As a mum - your mums comment brought a tear to my eye.
What a great post have a happy Christmas Renee.
I have been intending to do a toy drop you have inspired me.