Circle of Friends – Week 3

Each Sunday in May, I will be joining Raili @ Soul Gifts for Circle of Friends. Hop on over and join us!

This week’s prompt for friendship is “gifting” and Raili has again given us a series of questions to reflect on:

Gifting between friends of course is a very different issue. There are no professional constraints or legal procedural minefields to traverse. But are there ethical dilemmas and other constraints? Perhaps there are cultural factors to be taken into consideration. Is there a financial inequity that creates discomfort or embarrassment? Who makes the rules? Do you ever discuss gifting?

Have you ever received a precious, priceless gift from a friend? Or given one yourself? What was it, and what made it so special? OR imagine gifting something priceless to a friend. What would you choose and why?

First, I should say that I don’t do gifting well. Mostly the receiving part. I love giving to others, but when it comes to others giving to me, I would prefer they spend their money or talents on themselves or others. The best gift someone can give to me is their time. I have received a few nice gifts over the years – homemade art pieces, music cds, books and journals. Gifts are rare and I cherish the ones I do receive. Most of my friends are like me though, much too poor.

When I worked, I used to give monetary gifts because I figured everyone could use money. It also kept me from picking out gifts that wouldn’t be wanted or used. I learned this the hard way as one friend returned gifts that I sent her all the time. It hurt my feelings a bit, but she would get things that she preferred and so I just let it go.

These days, I don’t want for much and so I just tell friends to save their money. A phone call or a day together is more precious to me. And most of my friends feel the same. I only have a couple of friends who I would spend money on. One practically demands it. If she doesn’t get something material for birthdays or Christmases, then she doesn’t feel loved, I guess. I usually pick out a piece of jewelry for her birthday or Christmas. I cannot afford to buy for both as her birthday is too close to Christmas.

How about you, dear readers? What are your thoughts about gifting among friends? Share your thoughts with me in comments.