Anatomy of a Ritual: The Art of Giving

gift blog
On December 14, 2017 by Team EO in ANATOMY OF A RITUAL

Anatomy of a Ritual: The Art of Giving

As the holiday season wraps us in its warmth, chaos, and frenzy we decided to take a moment to pause and reflect on the reasons behind gift giving.

Our Heritage of Giving

Long before our modern rendition of the winter celebrations, humans were giving each other gifts during the colder months of the year. We are seasonal and social creatures, and when the weather is bleak and our resources are low we turn to each other for consolation. Gifts are a way of generating both generosity and gratitude – two methods by which we enjoy contentment and personal growth.

The Art of Generosity

When we give to another we practice generosity, and communicate feelings that go beyond words. We can speak of the joy of a faraway place when we gift a part of that place, we communicate respect, love, and gratitude when we gift a meaningful addition to a loved one’s life, and we tell our families and friends what our lives are like on the inside when we gift aspects of our own enjoyment and journey. Whatever we wish to say by means of a gift, we are able to express a deeper meaning as well as a lasting physical reminder to the person who receives the present.

The Joy of Receiving

When we receive a gift, we are given the opportunity to experience and express gratitude. Gratitude has been shown to improve our overall experience as well as expand our enjoyment of this life. When we are given a gift, we are the recipients of a deeper communication; perhaps we are told how much we mean to another, we are able to taste the unique treats of another land, or maybe we experience an aspect of a loved one’s life that gives us a deeper understanding of what it means to live in their skin.

Share The Experience

Gifts are a way of offering experience to another by means of curated items that the other may never have gathered themselves. We can share ideas, feelings, and sensory immersions with our friends and family by means of a thoughtful gift.

The Gift of Relaxation

This holiday season, we would like to suggest the gift of experience. Rather than buying a single product for another person to enjoy and fit into their lives, give a moment of time that you personally enjoy (or know they would enjoy). For instance, for a busy parent a gift of a long, hot bath would be incredible. Give the hard-working caregiver a coupon for a few hours sitting with the kids (maybe you take them all to a movie), some indulgent bubble bath, bath salt soak, and some Lavender essential oil to diffuse. If they enjoy a glass of wine, that would certainly improve any bubble bath. Just a few hours of self-care without the demands of caregiving can make an entire month better, and giving this kind of gift allows for several times of connection.

What are your unique and beautiful gift ideas? How do you practice the art of giving and receiving gifts?


Fun Facts:

giving present with lavender

Gift giving is a way of generating both generosity and gratitude.

  • Before the publication of A Christmas Carol and The Night Before Christmas, gifts were most often exchanged either around December 6 or the first week of January.

  • Neanderthals loved gift giving, the evidence of small bones, beads, and stones being given and kept carefully are in many archeological finds.

  • In Medieval times, gifts were often used to secure favor (and protection) from the ruling classes.

  • In Japan, the practice of omiyage is a tradition in which one brings gifts from every trip away from home. They are most often gifts of sensory experience of the place that was visited.