Every year, Diwali is the time to bring in joy, smiles and love, which can be shared. There is a sense of great excitement in receiving and sometimes in giving too. And then we have recycled gifts, lets admit it, we all do it. It is such an accomplishment to get rid of it. I was reading some tips somewhere telling us how we can clean up after Diwali. It said we should tag all the unwanted gifts received with the name of the person who gave it to us, so that it does not end up with the same person next year! The uninteresting pudding sets, coffee mugs, cheap Chinese kitchenware, bed sheets, candle stands, white metal tableware and hundreds of other boring stuff all get piled up year after year. An entire industry comes alive in this season and encourages and seduces you to buy things you don't want. I have thus decided to hold a garage sale of all the things we have which keep accumulating over the years and sometimes we even forget who gave it to us.
The other day my husband got a call from his client's staff in charge to ask him when he was coming to distribute gifts for Diwali. It was funny, as we were always taught by our convent nuns and parents that to ask for gifts was not a sign of good upbringing. Diwali and birthdays were gifting seasons in our family, we would get new clothes, and one special gift. Something we would have been waiting for all year or something we needed. We were content. We were encouraged to gift the needy during Diwali with clothes or money. Our family friends would come and wish us, bringing something special which they has cooked for Diwali. I remember a friend of my mother would always make home made chocolates for me on my birthday every year. Filled with coconut, almonds, jam or walnuts. She would spend the whole day to make a dozen of them for me. Packed in colorful foil in a box with colorful ribbons! Today the spirit of gifting has completely changed, unfortunately it's more burdensome. Somewhere the essence is lost. And so is the excitement. I don't remember the tea sets, pudding sets or cheap Chinese kitchenware I received as gifts which was never meant for me in the first place and I knew they were passed on many times over, but I do remember the chocolates I got every year for my birthday, the watch I got from my father, a book I was waiting for from my friends, a compiled music collection of my favorite songs from my children and a warm smile from my husband every morning. Priceless!!
This year I decided to make sweets at home. I gifted them to my mother and mother in law and gave it to whoever came to wish us. They were surprised and I was happy.
A wise man said, always put your hand forward to give but never to demand.