Give the Gift of Gratitude


Give the Gift of Gratitude

When I was younger I used to love days when I got to give gifts to other people. When someone’s birthday came around that meant that I could go shopping for them in order to find the perfect present. When I didn’t have money, I would make them something, but when I did have cash to spare then I would take the time to purchase something for them that they would like. And the reason I did this is because receiving presents is fun, but nothing compares to the joy on a person’s face when they unwrap your token of love.

During my high school years this gift giving experience only intensified. At my school, celebrating your friend’s birthday was essentially an Olympic sport. I’m not sure if it was because I went to an all-girls school, but what I do know is that everyone, from the freshmen all the way up to the seniors, would go all out when their buddy turned another year older. No one would’ve admitted it at the time, but we were all secretly competing against one another to see who could celebrate the hardest for their chum. We would make signs, crowns, decorate lockers, and bake brownies, cakes, and other sweet treats. And when we became upperclassmen some people went as far as to decorate the individual’s car with streamers and congratulatory messages. The goal was to bombard the birthday girl with so many things that she couldn’t walk across the school a few feet without having someone realize that she was celebrating another milestone. And I’d have to say, that the girls in my friend group and I succeeding in making this a reality each and every time. I was in my element whenever one of my pals turned another year older, and I truly enjoyed being able to make their big day a special one. By the time I got to college, however, that mentality changed.

When I entered university, suddenly celebrating birthdays wasn’t that big of a deal. We were all stressed with school and work, and so planning some big spectacle so that everyone on campus would know that it was your buddy’s birthday just wasn’t that important. The first time I came to this realization was during midterms. I had taken the time to buy one of my close friends a really cute top. I wrapped it and then I put it away in my closet so that it wouldn’t take up space in my cramped college dorm.

Needless to say, I was pretty stressed out about all of the exams that I had to take during this point in the semester. In fact, I was so overwhelmed that I ended up forgetting about the shirt that I bought for my friend. It wasn’t until the end of the year, when I was packing up all of my things to go back home, that I found her gift tucked away in the back of my closet. At that point, it was too late to give it to her, so I just ended up keeping it for myself. It sucked that I never got to give it to her and see the happiness on her face. It felt like a waste of time and energy to spend hours out of my day picking out the gift and wrapping it, only to have her never receive it. The situation wasn’t ideal, but I just learned from that mistake and decided to move on from it.

Gifts are a great way to show gratitude in life, but there are other ways to do it as well. Words go a long way in this world, so if you don’t have the means to give someone a physical gift, then you can use your words to show them how much you appreciate them. And that’s exactly what I started doing once I hit college. So, even if you choose not to give a tangible gift, you should make some genuine effort to show your appreciation to the people you care about. Keeping those feelings tucked away inside of you is just as useless as the present I bought and wrapped for my friend that I never ended up giving to her. Gratitude is meant to be given, positive thinker. So, make sure to share it when you can.