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THE ART OF GIFTING [THEN AND NOW]

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THE ART OF GIFTING [THEN AND NOW]

The tradition of gifting can be traced back to the start of time. The pleasure of presenting a materialistic possession to your loved ones is unmatchable and the feeling of satiation that it brings to the recipient, unparalleled. The evolution that the art of gifting has undergone has been nothing short of phenomenal and the potential that it still carries is what makes it all the more explore worthy. The newer of act of presenting a gift not only comes with a lot of effort but so with a touch of personal connection for which one needs to know about the choices and the preferences of whom the gift is for. 

If we take a closer look at the art of gifting then we’ll be able to identify the complete shift that has come about in the way we select a gift and the thought that goes behind that. The present trend of gifting involves a personal touch with a hint of quirky quirk in everything that we buy. The selection of gifts, as opposed to previous times is not limited to the brand name or values, but stitched around the element which the recipient can relate and connect to. 

Let’s take a quick rewind and go back to the time of the early and the middle 90s. If we ask the third generation of our house, then they would tell us that all that they got for their special occasions, be it birthdays or weddings, was jewellery. The gold and the silver pieces imbedded with precious stones were not only ornaments or accessories but also great investments. The men and the women alike were presented with such pieces from time to time to mark any occasion. Also, if we critically look into it, another reason for this choice could have been the limited options available at that time. The market was not so extensive and the mind-set of the people; not broad enough. The safest option was to go with the mainstream trend of buying precious jewellery. The 9choice of our ancestors still is stitched around the same mind-set and when encountered with the option of presenting a gift, they would still go for the same old tradition of buying a gold or silver ornament. But as far as feasibility is now concerned, it is not an option anymore for the cost element exceeds the budgetary aspect for most of the people. 

Going a little ahead to the late 90s, a slight shift was witnessed in the gifting trend during that era for the focus now shifted from the ornament to the electronics. The technology took over the gifting industry and the interest and the inclination of the people shifted to this newly established range of gadgets which not only made life easier but also become a symbol of social status. The varied options of electronics ranged from radios to television in the 60s and the 70s to the more advanced phones and home appliances in the 80s and the 90s. Electronics became a focus point of attention for celebrating any occasion whether it was weddings or festivals. The purpose behind this present was again to give something which was homely and came into use by the entire family. Another reason for this choice was also the shift in the industry and the option available in the market. With the assistance of technological factors, there were many varied options created which not only came with unique and different choices for gifting but also covered all the social classes and had something to offer for every budget boundary and almost all age groups.

The change of the century brought along a major shift in the outlook of the people for they way they viewed the art of gifting. The social condition of the society was influenced with the western culture and the people were more inclined towards fashion. The choice and the preferences of the people took a sudden shift towards the brands that came in and established a name for them. The value was not just limited to the brand name but also to the status symbol that it brought along. Wearing a branded jeans and carrying a premium quality bag was way more important than taking a peek into the core value of any gift. People were back then more attracted towards the mainstream presents which primarily covered clothing and accessories giving a major boost up to the fashion industry and a complete makeover of the gifting options. The gifts became more monotonous and predictable for everyone believed in presenting what the world wanted to see. The fashion choices of the people became the preferred options for selecting a gift and a brand centric view of the society came into focus. 

The second decade of the 21st century is the time that has witnessed the most prominent change in terms of art of gifting. The overview of the industry underwent a complete transformation and also the choices of the people took an opposite trend of what was being followed for so long. The choice of the people shifted from the brands and became more personalised with the primary focus of gifting something that held some emotional value and came with a touch of sentiments and an element that either reflected the personality of the recipient or expressed the feelings of the bestower. The accessories and fashion products were no longer a primary source of gifting but rather they were slower replaced by the more unusual and unique products. The intent was to present experiences rather than mere possessions. Getting into the specifics, it would be safe to say that products like picture frames, customised merchandise which includes mugs, cushions, t-shirts and more along with personalised items like engraved pens and name tags were some of the options that the people went for. In place of the mainstream merchandise, the world of pop culture began to be treated as the primary assistance for gifting.

The second decade of the 21st century is the time that has witnessed the most prominent change in terms of art of gifting. The overview of the industry underwent a complete transformation and also the choices of the people took an opposite trend of what was being followed for so long. The choice of the people shifted from the brands and became more personalised with the primary focus of gifting something that held some emotional value and came with a touch of sentiments and an element that either reflected the personality of the recipient or expressed the feelings of the bestower. The accessories and fashion products were no longer a primary source of gifting but rather they were slower replaced by the more unusual and unique products. The intent was to present experiences rather than mere possessions. Getting into the specifics, it would be safe to say that products like picture frames, customised merchandise which includes mugs, cushions, t-shirts and more along with personalised items like engraved pens and name tags were some of the options that the people went for. In place of the mainstream merchandise, the world of pop culture began to be treated as the primary assistance for gifting.

The change came out as a huge potential for the printing industry and also made way for many online websites that offered unique and quirky products for that is what the people wanted and in the present times, it is quite evident that people only and only want to break the monotony and opt for something that is out of the box and one of a kind. Creating merchandise that holds some value is now the core essence of every company that deals in the gifting industry whether it is a birthday or an anniversary, adding a personal touch is quintessential. Following on line with the trend, it is evident that the people are now focusing more on the unconventional online stores to satiate their needs for they are the ones that offer designs which are not associated with any brand name but rather with the human attributes. For occasions like baby showers and bachelors party, the pop culture products are the ‘in-things’, even for weddings and birthdays, gifting something unique is what attracts the most for it showcases your relationship with the recipient. So next time you decide to gift something to your loved one, choose something that is personal, unique and quirky.

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  • Anisha Mehta