Webby Wednesdays: Valentine’s Day and Gift Giving

One of my favorite Vines of all time is a simple one called, “It’s a Banana!” For those of you who don’t know what a Vine is, it’s a seven second video about anything (usually comedic)!

I love this video because of how innocent and sweet the little boy was. He didn’t get an brand new toy or fancy electronics, yet he was happy with his gift regardless. I think it was super sweet and cute that he reacted the way he did and it shows us how we don’t need much to be happy.

So why the whole gift giving thing? We all know what sappy, overly-emphasized, “holiday” full of passive-aggressive singles is coming up. Yup, Valentine’s Day. The day of love and all things adorable and sweet- catch my crashing wave of sarcasm. Let’s dive a little into Valentine’s Day (pun intended).

This year, I’ve been told by more than one person that they want to miss school on Valentine’s Day to be alone, eating ice cream, and watching Netflix chic-flicks all day. Ahem, let me justify that most of them were guys. Other people want to miss school because my high school does this thing where for $3 you can send a gram to a friend. With that gram you get acute little carnation, the gram itself, and get serenaded by concert choir. Being serenaded by concert choir is basically public humiliation at its finest. For three to four minutes, one can find themselves being awkwardly sung to and touched….in front of their class. Yea not fun.

I never really understood Valentine’s Day and expressed it in a writing exercise I did in my English class.

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A basic summary of my writing is that I don’t think we need a day like Valentine’s Day to appreciate those we love. And what comes hand in hand with love? Presents. Lots and lots of gifts. I’m only kidding. However, with the idea of Valentine’s Day coming up, my English teacher gave us a lecture on gift giving. It was a refreshing talk and was very similar to his lecture on “How to Get a Date”.

He explained that gift-giving was not about how much money you spent, rather how much time and effort you put into getting that person a gift. Any guy could get me a bouquet of roses on Valentine’s Day, but what would mean so much more- a box of Caramel DeLites or Thin Mints (*hint: it’s Girl Scout cookie season). He told us about his past Valentine’s Days with his wife and the girts that they got for each other. These gifts weren’t overly expensive, generic gifts. They were gifts that were carefully picked out based on being around that person and thinking about them. A gift shouldn’t be a last  minute buy in a fury to get the person something. It should be a thoughtful and meaningful present that you know the person will appreciate.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

-Mother Teresa

The other day I was frantically running around the store looking for a gift. My friends’ birthdays were coming up and I wasn’t sure what to get for them. Although I knew them all well enough to know their different tastes, I was still struggling to find them the PERFECT gift. I started off my shopping adventure at Forever 21, kind of the most universal girl shopping store ever. Because it’s such a large store, it’s hard to narrow down your options onto a few items to get and ends up being really stressful. ON TOP OF THAT, I was distracted the whole time by cute things to get for myself. LIKE, HOW DOES ONE PASS BY AN ADORABLE CAT SHIRT AND NOT WANT TO OWN IT. Anyway, the only thing I actually bought there was a necklace that reminded me of one of my friends. I wanted my gifts to mean something, which took an incredibly long time to search for.

After my time at Forever 21, I began thinking about all our inside jokes and all the things my friends my have hinted to me. Suddenly, gifting became easier. I was buying presents that I knew my friends would like because it was something personal and heartfelt. I wasn’t buy things I necessarily liked, but I knew they would enjoy.

I think the same thing goes for gifting for a significant other. I’ve been asked by several people for gift ideas and to be completely honest, I don’t know. I don’t know the person or what they like or who they are, which makes the gift so much harder to be special. To sum up my advice for girls and guys out there:

  • Stay away from generic Valentine’s Day gifts like roses or chocolates; you want to be unique
  • If you’ve known the person for a short time, getting them something that you both enjoy will be a great conversation starter and they’ll appreciate that you remembered (ex: plushie of favorite cartoon character, DVD of movie you both like, box of cookies, etc.)
  • If all else fails and you’re running out of time, a handwritten letter with cartoon drawings is always appreciated

Now before I leave you, here’s a sugary sweet Valentine’s Day gift idea video. Everyone loves food 😉

Much love,

Katrya

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