Gifts that Surprise and Delight
Gift giving goes back to the ancient Romans as part of their Solstice celebrations. In fact the early Christian Church banned gift giving as a wholly pagan act.
Today the activity is even studied by Economists, some of whom came to the conclusion that exchanging gifts is an irrational, and uneconomic activity - given the difference between what givers pay for presents and the perceived value to the recipients.
As a consequence many people today play it too safe. According to Margaret Copland, the act of Gift Giving seems to have degenerated for many into the activity of exchanging generic gift vouchers. "How boring, May as well just transfer $50 into each other's bank account.".
As the owner of Uncle Festers, Margaret is committed to bringing back the surprise and delight into gift giving. Uncle Festers is a specialty witchy goth gift shop based in Woodend Victoria, that also has a very large online presence with over 3000 "non ordinary" gifts, clothing and witchy supplies.
"Gift shopping should be fun" she says. "Take your time. Great gifts ideally encompass something of the giver as well as the receiver. For instance, our nieces and nephews have all been given things like Teddy Scares, Bleeding Edge Goth Dolls and stuffed toy bats instead of normal boring toys - everyone knows which gifts are ours (I'm called the Spider Aunty by one family). "
It is also really nice to give gifts with some meaning behind them, and then explain why it is you chose them - this way you are giving a "story / blessing" not just a "thing". Gifts need not be expensive but should be well thought out (without stressing out). Even where others have given you the ideas of what they want, it is always good to include a "surprise" element - after all that is what unwrapping a present is all about!
A shorter version of this article was written for the Summer Issue of Spellcraft magazine - Comments as always most welcome!