Return Gift

Return Gift

Saturday Learning by Reena Yadav

Return Gift

Why do you visit functions and birthday parties or any other occasions? You get to dress up, meet your friends and some other new people, eat yummy savories, participate in fun games, maybe dance to music, all in all, you have fun.

Then comes the time for the much-anticipated return gift. In birthday parties kids eagerly wait to receive the goodies beautifully packaged in a fun bag. In India especially in South of India, it is customary to give a coconut during festive functions like house warming, wedding, puja (prayers to God with specific rituals). Along with that, there is a gift given nicely wrapped in a shiny paper and placed in a small bag.

Many times at birthday parties parents miss out on the return gift and in functions children don’t receive the return gift.

Have you ever wanted to have the return gift in a birthday party? What did you tell yourself?  ‘I am too old for these things.’ But, what thoughts are EXACTLY running through your mind. ‘I wish I could have one too.’

When did it first occur to you that, ‘you are now big, you don’t get these gifts.’ Did you accept the rule or do you secretly crave for the fun colourful mystery goodies?

If you do receive it, you would use it as you plan or give it away or just keep it in a place in your room/house. There is a possibility that being a grown up you may not even need or use those ‘kiddy’ items. Then the most important question that needs to be solved is, ‘why do you want it so much?’

The reason for that is, giving and receiving gifts are equivalent to giving and receiving approval. When you are not considered for the gifts you take it as rejection. Because this has never been realised and/or explained to you, you continue with the processes of suppressing the thoughts or have a discussion with your friends subtly mentioning to them, to ‘test the waters’, to see if they share the same sentiments, or you may even mention it to the host.

Another possibility is that you might convince yourself, ‘I did not need it anyway’, or ‘I can buy better stuff for myself.’ You may actually resort to retail therapy to make yourself feel better.

The craving and the rejection that is experienced on not receiving the ‘return gift’, is because of the years of practice of telling yourself and being told to yourself that ‘you not enough, you don’t have enough, you will never be enough.’

Some parent(s) who live this moment vicariously through their kid(s), what happens to them when the kid does not get the return gift or misses out collecting it from the host as he/she was too busy playing/eating/watching what interests him/her.’ Do you get upset and show your discontent in an obvious manner. The child did not care about the gift because the child is still in the phase of knowing that he/she is enough. All that he/she needs is always there, rest do not interest a child.

But the scolding of missing out is registered as a mistake. Something he/she needs to be mindful of doing to have the parents approval and love reciprocation. Next time possibly the child will remember.

This is just one of the ways that the understanding to the child of not being enough or not having enough is introduced. Eventually, it becomes part of their belief system. Thus, having/receiving gifts becomes important to them.

But till it is not established in a child’s mind, during the function, if a child is told ‘this is for older people only, and you get gifts in birthday parties’, they find this a satisfactory explanation. Also, kids rather have something useful for themselves, so they move on real quick.

Whatever you need at this time of your life is there with you. Whatever you desire you can still work towards it. This contentment will attract more of what you desire, deserve and/or need.

‘I am enough.’ ‘I have enough.’ ‘I will always be enough.’

To assimilate this new information, you could do the following:

  • Count your blessings, i.e. all that you are grateful for.
  • Till you can completely agree with this, keep asking ‘what more can I do.’

While you are working on understanding, acknowledging, agreeing ‘about being enough’, if you still want that ‘return gift’ or a ‘gift’, then comfortably request for it from the respective person or your own self.



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