Presents Are For Giving – Not Receiving

The Christmas Gift Experiment

Imagine entering a busy train station and seeing a giant red box wrapped up with a gold bow like a garage-sized present. That’s what British commuters saw one day in December 2015. The booth, resembling a surprise ATM, showed up in Grand Central station in Birmingham, which is the second largest urban area in England. A sign on top said “Free presents” while a phone on the side was labeled “Jingle Bell.” When the phone was answered, a voice asked “Would you like a present?” Who doesn’t want a present? However, would be beneficiaries are then told the gift isn’t for them. “Presents are for giving, not for receiving. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Courtesy of KarmaTube

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Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli

In offering a gift, especially when it must be given to a loved one, a set of emotionally charged expectations is condensed. First of all, it is a gratuitous gesture that is not made to receive something in return and that therefore also on a symbolic level must condense the two protagonists of the gift: who gives and who receives.
In fact, those who donate may want to “reward” the satisfaction of the other person and then look for a gift that reflects the tastes of another person, but which also bears an imprint so that it can be recognized in the midst of other gifts. Often more appreciated gifts are those that refer to the common history, to the relationship (friendship, love, work, etc.) or to an event lived together.