Gifting exists from the moment humans bonded with each other, so easily said that it was the first emotional gesture of humankind. It existed in different kind in different times. A prehistoric man might have killed and shared his hunt to gift and form a bond with his fellow homo sapiens, while in later period the head of the clan gifted his fellow mates with ateliers or elephant teeth or hide to show his concern for the group. An Egyptian priest would gift his pharaoh with objects for his pyramid, while the pharaoh would gift his queen with a grand pyramid of her own, actually something for her death! A medieval Indian king built temples as gift to his beloved, while gifting a manuscript with the beloved’s portrait over it suited the Europeans of middle ages. The ideas of what a gift might have transformed from historic times to the contemporary, but the gesture and emotion remain the same, having a certain bond with fellow beings and letting them know about it.
Today we gift for all the reasons from festivities, to charm, to say thank you, on births on deaths, for good luck, for getting well soon, on mother’s day and father’s day and numerous other occasions. In India we have a common practice of giving gifts to all that come for baby showers, marriages, and deaths to the family and from the family. We have the traditions of sending food packets and small objects of concern on Makara Sankranti or Dussehra. So imbibed is this tradition that it becomes part of our living and not considered a special activity of gifting. Gifts are given to friends, fiancées, spouses, siblings, parents, neighbors, colleagues, business partners and in some cases rivals and we receive them in different shapes and sizes and all kinds possible.
Gift giving is highly rewarding simply for it connects! The giver expresses his emotions and the receiver accepts and cherishes the emotions connecting both in a special bond. In the world of loneliness and individuality today, making connections with people around us gives us a sense of purpose and feeling of satisfaction. Psychologists say it is often the giver, rather than the recipient, who reaps the biggest psychological gains from a gift. There is an old saying “it is better to give than receive” and it has a special meaning especially when we realise the benefits of being a giver. Research suggests that giving gifts may improve a person’s state of mind. By giving a gift, you not only express your feelings but also develop a better connection. Not only does the person receiving the gift feel closer to the giver, but vice versa as well. This greater social connection also means an improvement in the state of being as well as overall happiness.
The new age with its busy schedules and multitasking individuals has made the need for social connections even greater and thus has come about the industry of corporate gifting. Today, there are large industries dedicated to creating and selling gifts that allow people even in the busiest of times to find the right type of present to give someone for many different reasons and occasions. Corporate gifting is done on a larger scale, to a larger group of individuals and needs to give a sense of personal touch even though not done on one to one basis. In such circumstances, what an appropriate gift could be is always a dilemma. An object is judged by its price or its quality while something like a textile may not suit everyone’s taste. Food items are perishable and thus are not largely chosen for this purpose. A painting in such circumstances could be an ideal gift on large scale. Paintings are essentially expressions of an artist and thus could be an ideal kind of gift, when we say that gifts in themselves are emotions expressed. By gifting a piece of art, an impersonal gift can become a very personal gesture and connect two companies and the individuals in a special bond. It may bring out special warmth in a business relation and can have great rewards.
As established before, the giver benefits as and even more than the receiver of the gifts. A gift of art, of emotion thus yields even more emotional satisfaction. This new year, gift your loved ones, your friends, your partners and your associates with gift of love, a piece of art that sends the emotions and connects to bind you to others for ever.