I first came to know about the concept of return gifts after attending a friend’s party to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. We were in Pune at that time and our daughter was hardly one. Since her birthday was around the corner at that time, that party proved very helpful in designing our party when our daughter turned one. The list of items did feature a line item named “return gifts”. We finally bought coloring pencils due to lack of time or lack of better idea. Most of the people who turned up were toddlers and hence would not have even bothered about the contents of the return gift.
At present, I’m back after attending a friend’s party to celebrate his son’s fifth birthday. As soon as I broke the news of the party to our daughter, she was excited as she vividly remembers the birthday boy. She eagerly followed up on the gift for the birthday boy after hearing it from our conversation. Later in the evening, she personally tried to hand over the gift to the birthday boy. The excitement of the birthday boy on being the focal point of the party prevented her from doing so. At around 9pm, we decided to say good bye to our hosts. When our plans were announced, my daughter beckoned me to her side and whispered in my ears, “Aren’t we getting return gifts?”.
How could we leave without receiving the return gifts? She has always carried a gift to the birthday parties. Similarly, she has also carried back a return gift from these parties. How could this party be different? Like all the other hosts, my friend also had return gifts ready. My daughter carried one back home.
But, what are we teaching our kids with return gifts? Isn’t gifting a selfless act?
Picture Courtesy: http://treesouls.com