I’m getting ready to go to a graduation party of a beautiful newlywed girl and I can’t wait to be part of this joyful celebration.
And one thing came to my mind and I didn’t want to go without sharing it with you. Let me make one disclaimer though before I say what I am about to say (write):
“I’m writing this on behalf of many people; I have no personal agenda whatsoever.”
Phew! That has to be out of the way.
So, as you all know this is a graduation and wedding season. And it is good that we wrap up a gift we can afford to give to the people who invite us but sometimes do you know that we give a gift we don’t want to receive.
One graduating and talented girl was showing me the gifts she got for her graduation. While we were looking through the gifts, we found one gift where the price tag was hidden away and read like this: Original price $30, reduced price (with red color sticker) $1:90. I simply advised her to give most of her gifts for donation because there was no way she wanted to keep them.
You know what, before we decide to give someone a gift, we need to ask ourselves this: “Is this something I want to receive from other people?” If the answer is “No,” let’s not give it to anyone.
Gift certificates are the best gifts we can give next to cash! We can’t get wrong with that. People will never be disappointed by us if we give them gift certificate especially the ones which won’t limit them where to spend it. The amount is up to us.
Let’s say, we have no money. Let’s just go to their party and be part of their joy. They invited us; that means they want us to be part of their celebration. So, our gift will be our presence.
I’m glad that I have no anticipated party in my family because I don’t want you guys to think that I’m indirectly telling some of my friends and families what kind of gift to bring for me. None of my kids are graduating soon. I have many more years to worry about that. And when it comes to having babies, I don’t know what God has in mind but I think I’m done with having kids. So, I’m not writing this for my personal gain, as I said it in the disclaimer. So, please listen to me with an open mind.
One newly married couple called us one day asking us if we want to take stuff from their wedding gifts. They literally gave them all out to anyone who was willing to take them. Why? They have very small apartment and some of the gifts they got were as big as a TV set they didn’t need.
Please give gift cards or cash in a card. People know what to get with that gift card or cash. They will appreciate you very much if you do that.
One single person said to me, “Most of my friends are getting married. I can’t afford to give them gift certificate or cash. So, I will look for something cheap in Wal-Mart or Burlington Coat Factory, things like less than $10.”
Why don’t you forget giving them anything? Just be there! And I think giving them cash, $10, will be much better than something cheap they don’t have place to keep. I know, giving $10 as a gift is not good. So the best thing to do is just attend their celebration and be part of their happy day. Sometimes, when we cannot afford to gift a gift, it is okay not to give.
One girl said to me, “I love receiving gift whatever it is. It is free, you see. It doesn’t matter how cheap it is. I still feel good that that person thought of me.”
Well, I understand that side of thinking but I wonder how many people relate to that kind of thinking.
But let me honestly say this: Some people while they look for that cheap gift to give to you so it will be free for you, they are complaining saying things like, “Why do we have to give a gift. This culture has to stop.” Doesn’t that ring a bell? I know it does for me.
The other issue is: When a couple has a baby, again, gift certificate will be great to give! Taking one baby outfit and visiting them at the time the mother wants to sleep with the baby so that she can catch up with her lost-sleep-time will be as painful as gastric pain. Seriously! Think about it.
Well, in my culture, Ethiopia, people visit when a mother has a baby and they bring all sorts of food and gift mainly to the mother. And usually there are family members and servants to entertain the guests. Wow, that is excellent!
But here in America, there is nobody to entertain guests. There is no one to fix a cup of tea for the guest. It is the mother or the father and believe me in this; they don’t enjoy your company. The baby took all their energy and time. And the last thing they want is somebody else to take care of.
I usually send card to the mother who has a baby just to say congratulations and if I can afford, I will send a small gift, of course cash or gift certificate. I don’t visit them.
And to tell you the truth, I have never had a couple holding a grudge against me for not visiting their new baby. They actually love me more than before for not visiting them. I’m telling you.
So when I call to ask them their mailing address to send the card, I usually call the father knowing that the mother is busy with the baby or something. Whenever I ask the address, without any exception, the husbands, with serious voice say something like, “It is okay; you don’t have to visit us. We understand you are busy.”
Why? They are desperate to find normal moment in their home. They are tired of entertaining guests and not having time with their newly born baby and their wives. I completely understand them. I have been there! And I will tell them that I want the address just to send a congratulation card. And they gladly give me the address.
So the one best way to visit, if you have to, couples with a new baby is this: Call and ask them how you can help them with their chores.
One girl, who heard me teaching about this issue in one church, called me and said: “I’m single and I didn’t know that married couples go through tough times when they give birth to a baby. After I heard your teaching, my best friend had a baby. So, I got her a gift certificate and called her to put aside her dirty laundry for me so that I could wash and fold them for her. She gladly accepted my offer and I did it. It felt so much better than being a pain on the neck.”
That is wonderful!
One mother said to me: “I can’t tell my families and friends that I’m sleep deprived because of the baby. If I do, nobody comes to my house. I can’t live without people. So, I rather have everybody and go through these tough times.”
Yeah, this woman might be jeopardizing her health and marriage. If she doesn’t get enough sleep, she can’t be a good wife. Forget sex! That would be unthinkable for her because she can’t have energy. Top that with hormonal change which is going through her body will turn her into a monster. She can’t be a loving mother to her baby. Her breast milk can’t be enough to her baby. And when mothers get nervous babies get colicky (babies crying for no apparent reason). I mean the list goes on and on.
The other excellent way to visit couples with a new baby is this: Call and ask them if you can baby-sit for them so that they can have a romantic dinner out. This works miracle to their marriage and you will be their favorite creature on this planet.
Some people may respond to your request like, “That would be nice but my baby runs fever whenever she/he sees strangers others than us.”
Well, they lost the opportunity. At least you offered.
If you are married couples with a baby reading this, listen please: Babies don’t come with a manual how to do life. They will get used to strangers if you teach them. Whatever you teach them, they will adopt it. You are the one to teach your baby how to do life so that you won’t destroy your life and marriage. Be smart! Go out without a baby if you get help from someone else. Take every help you can get and you will be a loving wife and a romantic mother.
I guess I better stop here before someone gets really mad at me. If you really get mad at this, maybe it is for you to read and learn from it. ///