The Universal Tradition of Giving Gifts
Exchanging gifts go back thousands of years. We humans, are social creatures who thrive in one another’s company and are very expressive in making our emotions felt. Giving gifts is also another way of expressing our feelings towards another individual. As an expression of true love, to show our gratitude, appreciation of a job well done or just to break the ice, we never miss a chance to give and take gifts.
Research suggests that gifts are not a modern phenomenon. Even cave dwellers had a culture of giving and receiving present. Even history tells us of the various valuable pieces of art and craft were exchanged by kings and royalties around the world. Technological advancements over the ages have made gifts suave and full of finesse.
The medium of sending gifts
The ways and means of sending gifts have developed over time. Let’s see how:
- Kings and queens and other royal dignitaries would send their emissaries who would carry the gifts from the king to the recipient. In present times, world leaders exchange gifts through their ambassadors and high commissioners in that country.
- Now, online stores and malls have even removed the need for visiting a gift shop and selecting a gift. If we have to send a parcel from one place to another, it may cost a lot, especially if it involves crossing international borders. For example, someone from Karachi who has been sent to USA to work can order and send gifts to Pakistan online without spending a huge amount of money on shipping charges.
With a lot of innovations and creations, the gift options these days are so diverse that it can confuse you when you go to buy a gift. Some of the more popular gifting options are:
- Clothes and accessories – With globalization and open markets, so many foreign companies are now presenting unlimited options. Also, the fashion industry keeps pumping in new types of garments and accessories in the market.
- Electronic Gadgets – Mobile phones, tablets, laptops and portable digital music devices at all price points present a huge choice to anyone wanting to buy a gift.
- Household Items – While it is common to present a newlywed couple with household items as they embark on a new journey, the options today are unlimited and with innovations, the same old products are now available in new modern avatars.
The gift economy
The tradition of giving gifts has also given rise to many additional services that thrive on this culture.
- Gift Wrapping – Gone are the days when we used to pack gifts in decorative paper with flowers and “Best Wishes” printed on it. with tailored options, you can buy a gift to send to USA, you can get packing that suits Americans, but if you were to send the same gifts to Pakistan, you can get a different packing that is more suited to Pakistani values.
- Postal & Courier Services – The spike in the gift buying habits online has led to enormous growth in the courier companies. Not only have existing companies grown, many new companies have been able to establish themselves.
Whatever the reason and the season, exchanging gifts will always remain ingrained in human psyche. It is also a very contagious habit!