Diwali is almost synonymous with gifts these days. Gifts, actually, are beautiful. They convey to the receiver that you were on their minds, invested time in thinking what they would like and have gone out of your way to buy those things. However, most of us would agree that Diwali gifts hardly fall in this bracket. More often than not they range from the clueless to the stupid and even bordering on insulting. So here are some gifts you must absolutely avoid this Diwali.
I know Diwali is synonymous with sweets. But please do not get those boring and unduly sweet mithai boxes and dump them on hapless people. Seriously get creative! If you have to really gift mithai, stand out from the crowd and find something customised and unique. If you have the talent for it make them yourself or find someone who does so with quality ingredients. You know what is easier and better? Chocolates. For adults like me and kids, chocolates are always welcome. And they don't have a very short shelf life either. There is so much variety in the market these days -- utilise it.
"Diwali is not the time to offload the results of your flea-market escapades."
2. Dry fruits
This is the second lame regular on the gift list for me. It also shows that you are completely out of ideas. Most of the dry fruits in the box are generally not usable unless you've been kind enough to only give the regular eats. Besides, no one will really remember you by your "unique" gift of dry fruits.
3. Kitschy trinkets
Okay, now these are a class apart. I have got small jars, dabbas, plastic boxes etc. as a gift. Maybe, you got a good deal at Big Bazaar and distributed a set of 12 jars to 12 friends! It is not very classy and if you are this miserly, I would suggest skipping gifting would be a much better idea. Speaking of low budget -- fruits, a potted plant, a book or some homemade eatables would be a much better gift, no? Unless your main motive in gifting such items is to snap ties with the receiver!
4. Recycled gifts
Okay, we Indians are a thrifty breed, so why throw away something useless? Let's give it away. Not a bad thought if the recycling is at least done intelligently and appropriately. It is quite clear that no one gifts a handbag which looks out of fashion for Diwali or a children's book for an age group that your kids don't belong to. So, please spare each other the agony. Avoid recycled gifts. Give things away to people who you know will appreciate and use them. Also, please avoid leaving behind previous gifting evidence in your gifts. That is very embarrassing.
5. Random home décor
I have gifted these too and have received a few as well. Some I've cherished -- like a beautiful oil painting, a wind chime, a sandalwood statue -- because they were tasteful. And there are others I have thrown away. So cheap and tacky, I didn't wish to pass them on to anyone. Plastic flowers are a big no-no and so are run-of-the-mill items which you may have picked up from the roadside. Diwali is not the time to offload the results of your flea-market escapades.
The bottom-line: It's not about expense but about gifts that speak for the giver. Trust me, you don't have to spend a packet for a nice gift. Just use your creativity and do keep the person you are gifting in mind. If still in doubt, ask the person for their preferences. A gift voucher is better than useless gifts for sure.
No matter what you do, don't gift something you wouldn't wish to get yourself!
This post has been previously published on Rachna says.
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