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Lifestyle, Rachelle Belaro

Christmas 101: The myths about gifts


“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” – Peg Bracken

The holiday season is fast approaching and people are starting to look for what gifts to buy. Gift-giving usually expects some sort of reciprocation, but it should really be done for free and out of good will. More often than not, people usually have a hard time looking for the right gifts – may they be for our family, friends, colleagues, or aspecial someone. But did you know that there could be a myth behind it? These myths have been passed on from generation to generation and are known all over the world, and some myths have changed over time.

Here’s a list of some gifts and their corresponding myths:

Shoes. People say that shoes symbolize journey: that a good pair of shoes will take you to great places but giving someone a pair of shoes could actually mean that you want that person to walk away from you.

Handkerchief. It is said that handkerchiefs symbolize sadness for they are used to wipe away the tears of a person, and it is also used for wiping away sweat. So giving someone a handkerchief means that you’re actually expecting that person to cry due to sadness or sweat due to frustration.

Sharp objects like scissors and knives. Scissors and knives, no matter how good looking and sharp they may be, could mean a bad thing if given as a gift. Giving someone a pair of scissors or any sharp object means that you are cutting the relationship in half or eventually ending it soon. To prevent that from happening, the receiver should present a coin to the gift-giver as a “payment”. In some cases, the gift-giver includes a coin with the sharp object and the receiver must return that coin to serve as the “payment”.

Wallet or Coin Bank. May it be a branded wallet or an über cute coin bank, people should make sure that it has something inside. Giving someone an empty wallet or coin bank could bring bad luck to the receiver. That is why it is customary to place even some coins in these gifts. Wallets and coin banks with money inside means good luck, and ensure that these gifts won’t run out of money.

Perfume. According to the ancient Chinese and Greeks, giving perfumes could actually be the cause for break-ups. The reason behind it is that perfumes are said to attract a third party. To counteract that, the receiver should give money to the giver. At this point in time, giving someone perfume could actually mean that they stink. (Uh-oh.)

Watch. Watches or clocks, no matter what form, shape, color and design, could mean two things: First is that you’re actually implying that the recipient is not punctual, so the reason that you’re giving him/her a watch is because you want them to monitor the time and be more punctual in the future. Second is that it suggests having a limited life span or death since time is running out.

Suitcase. A suitcase is usually used for travelling and giving this to someone is said to encourage the recipient to pack up and walk away from you or from the relationship.

Long stemmed red roses with thorns. Yes, giving someone roses as a gift may seem cheesy and romantic but this gift actually symbolizes a bad thing. Long stemmed red roses with thorns are believed to make a relationship suffer.

While the mentioned gifts signify bad things, there are some gifts that signify good things as well. Here are some examples:

Chocolates or Fruits. Chocolates and fruits are known for their sweet taste. If these are given to other people, it means that want them to have a sweet life. It also represents good fortune. However, you should make sure that they do not throw or give away these sweets!

Gifts with a frog and a horseshoe. Frogs are known to be a lucky charm since stand for positive transformations, and are also known to bring happiness. On the other hand, horseshoes bring good luck. So giving someone gifts with frogs or horseshoes could bring good vibes and good luck.

These are just some of the gifts that we should or should not give, but it’s still up to us if we would believe the myths behind them or not. What’s more important is that we show the people around us that these gifts are from our hearts and that there is no bad meaning behind it. Cliché as it may seem, it’s still the thought that counts right? Gifts could be a symbol of our love for the people around us; as long as we make them feel that they are loved, giving simple or extravagant gifts wouldn’t really matter.

Looking for the perfect gift could be a very tedious task, so what are you waiting for? Go start writing your own gift list and visit the bazaars here, there and everywhere! Happy shopping! – Rachelle Belaro

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About aitsalimbay

The official newsletter of the UP Asian Institute of Tourism.

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