Present Sense

Inexplicably, many people feel squeamish about receiving or giving money as a gift. Maybe its too blunt or it seems like you're not making any effort figuring out a thoughtful present. While I'm all for money gifts, I find the gift registry system, prevalent in the West, a little distasteful. It's really caught on in India as well: for example, Good Earth and Fab India offer registries for friends and family of a couple getting married. For the uninitiated, a couple lists out what they need from a particular store, and their guests buy them exactly that. While it makes perfect sense, it strikes me as a tad presumptuous. Surely, the giver's feelings matter a little as well and I may not agree that newly weds need candle stands. It's far simpler to tell your friends you'd like cold, hard cash. Judging by the economy, it's an even more valuable gift. Another school of thought questions the very existence of the holiday and occasion gift exchange between adults. It may be an old-fashioned practice or, as critics say, a commercialisation of holidays and weddings and a colossal waste of money, but everything can't be about efficiency. Sometimes it's nice to spend your money to make someone else happy, and even better when somebody else is trying to make you happy.

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