My family has always loved gift-giving. There are six of us, and until a few years ago we each went to great lengths to buy the perfect gift for every other person. Our gift-opening ritual on Christmas Day was elaborate and special, with much time spent admiring each present and gasping in delight as each one was unwrapped.
We have children of our own now, and about five years ago our mum finally suggested that we grown-ups stop the mass present-buying for each other. It felt a bit sad, but she was right – it had become arbitrary. As adults, we already have most of what we need. The gifts had become meaningless purchases, made for the sake of it.
Now we have a new rule for gift giving. We each give only one person a present – drawn from a hat ahead of time – and the gift must either be second-hand or home-made. Our last five Christmases have been fabulous. One year my brother gave me a set of antique crystal tumblers which I treasure, and other years I have received home-made limoncello and a beautiful package of almond-toffee crisps. My sister is an incredible home cook, and she is known to give hand-made vouchers for beautiful meals (which are redeemed with great gusto by whoever was lucky enough to receive them!).
Our gift-giving ritual has remained special, but now we just ask ourselves two questions first: will this gift make the recipients life easier, or will it bring them delight?
Do you know someone who needs a helping hand? Consider gifting a subscription to Food St Concierge, which is currently available on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and will soon be expanding. Concierge is fully customisable from the number of people you want to feed, to the number of nights you wish to receive meals. For example, at just $45 per week you’ll have gorgeous, home cooked food delivered on two nights of your choosing. A month’s subscription is a lovely way to take the weight off someone’s shoulders for a while, and you’ll be contributing to a blossoming economy of food-sharing in our community.