The disappearing present

Image thanks to Glen Smyth – LinkedIn

It’s the birthday season in the Jackman household. March is an expensive month. Looking back, perhaps we should have planned things better but it’s a bit late now. When my children were younger, buying presents was much easier. Something big and plastic would usually do the trick and as they got older it was clothes that fitted the bill. These days though things are different.

Clothes are still an option but who is going anywhere these days? Last year’s clothes are still just as good. Music CDs (remember them) are no longer any use and neither are videos on DVD. Now you can just download them or subscribe to a streaming service. Books, magazines and video games are all available in a digital format and so it’s becoming more and more meaningless to give them as gifts. Nearly all entertainment is virtual.

In some ways this has made gift giving much easier yet at the same time more of a challenge. The giving is easy but the amount of thought and effort is negligible. It is hard to feel that much perspiration has been lost during the process.

Yet this gives us a great opportunity to be more inventive, more creative and revert to a more traditional form of celebrating someone’s birthday. It gives us the chance to move away from a birthday as a gift giving process, a competition to outdo what you bought last year, a celebration of quantity rather than an expression of love and familial connection. We can go back to enjoying each other’s company, sharing a meal and a drink, making that person feel special, at least for a day. 

Our rush to make purchasing easier has given us cause to stop and reflect. 

Happy birthday! I’ve transferred some bitcoin to your wallet. Yeah, whatever!

An e-birthday just doesn’t cut it for me.

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