According to the Gifting Index, households in the UK have spent an average of £370.67 on gifts in 2014 (excluding Christmas and birthdays) - we mostly seem to buy presents for our mums, our dads and housewarmings.
While it’s rather lovely to spoil our parents, and to buy a new spider plant for your friend that just moved into a flat with bigger windows (and just enough room to stand in the kitchen, score!) - there is something special about offering presents outside of the predefined gifting seasons.
A few years ago I bought a pair of earrings I absolutely loved, shaped like stars and with layers of rainbows. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end - especially when you wear them every day and they eventually break.
Finding a replacement proved impossible so I did the logical thing and told my woes to Facebook, asking everyone to keep their eyes open. Three days later I received a little parcel in which I found lovely rainbow coloured stars for my ears!
Not the original ones, but still - they were lovely. My friend Rebecca had gone out of her way to find some for me and didn't even tell me she bought them, they just turned up in the mail.
It was wonderful and it started this little tradition between us of sending each other little things. I realised recently that this is actually a tradition I have with many friends, from the one who bought me posh cupcakes when I was sad, to the one who knitted me a hat. One bought me a hoodie and another once even paid for me to come visit them in Switzerland!
The Gifting Index is predicting a rise of spending of at least 7% this year, why not make yours count and do something special for a friend?
Each of the gifts we give each other, from the small chocolate bars to the big ticket items (like the airplane ones - I’m sorry, I’ll stop), we all exerce this little duty of caring friendship - sometimes to make someone smile during a hard time, sometimes for the simple joy of seeing someone go "Oooh, I was looking for one of those!”
Sometimes giving a gift is just the material equivalent of running up to your friends and hugging them until they can't breathe, something that just tells them "You are loved, you are cared for and breathing is overrated anyways”