Home » General » Of Presents and Their Worth

It is better to give than to receive. How ironic. There is a Biblical verse about an elderly woman who melts the heart of Jesus Christ by tithing the bottom penny that she had been keeping dearly for a long time opting to give to the Lord out of her devotion.

This was at a time when others were showing off in their offerings, trying to catch the attention of all and sundry, but she did it straight from her heart.

This has given rise to the issue of presents that some people offer during weddings, birthdays or other social parties and gatherings, with some questioning if the idea behind giving presents still has its worth.

Recently Star FM’s On The Breeze show with Itai Takaendesa, popularly known as Iyati, hosted a programme on wedding gifts and their cultural significance.

And what an amazing show it was as many people participated and expressed their views.

While in the past, wedding presents were mainly meant to be functional, such as pots, fridges, wardrobes or any other household appliances, utensils or property, the modern-day trend is revealing otherwise.

“I remember when my elder sister wedded her long-time sweetheart and both families were happy that the two had finally decided to be man and wife and my parents conferred with us over what presents we should give the newly-weds. Because in the past there was this traditional way of dowry, which was meant to give the couple a starting point in their new home, our parents asked us to raise money for household appliances and furniture which went a long way in making up their new home,” said Susan Sekete of Cranborne.

This proves a point that the family members were giving the presents with the intention of putting their seal on the couple starting a happy and successful home that would be the pride of everyone.

At some weddings, friends, relatives, church members or fellow workmates of the groom or bridegroom can opt to give a present that goes in line with the person’s profession, position, social standing or even a promotion.

When Michael Mahendere of the famous gospel outfit Mahendere Brothers, wedded some years ago, Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa through his UFI Church donated a brand new Mercedes Benz to the artiste. This was on top of other presents which his fellow church members also donated.

According to word that did the rounds, the present was in recognition of Michael’s contribution to the church as a leader of the praise and worship team. There are others who use the same platform to announce a promotion at work as a present, which then raises the stature of the event.

“A friend of mine once received the shock of his lifetime when his bosses who had attended his birthday party announced that they had brought a deep freeze on top of a promotion as recognition for his hard work,” said James Jiri of Highfield.

Jiri said giving such presents showed that people did it from the bottom of their hearts as they really appreciated the worth of presents. Presents were mementos that would remind someone of an occasion or an event in their lives.

“Such presents are a show of love, commitment and carry with them a stamp of how close people are in your life,” Jiri said.

The modern-day presents have assumed a whole new dimension, with certain sectors of people choosing to use the presents they give as a way of showing their financial and social status.

There are those who splash loads of cash not because they are doing it from the bottom of their hearts but simply because they want people to notice them and they want people to talk about their financial muscle long after the wedding or party is over and done.

Also, there are those who choose to give a modest present because they feel the people they are giving the presents can afford better things in life, while there are those whose presents are determined by the quality of the invites they receive.

However, it is now the new trend especially at weddings with the bride and groom offering envelopes to the guests to put money as wedding gifts. Some actually state that they will not accept any other gifts besides cash.

“It is now a thing of the past carrying presents but rather give cash. The problem nowadays is that the envelopes range from US$200 to US$1 000 sometimes and I feel it is not fair and discriminatory,” said a local taxi driver.

Many will recall how some prominent people were falling over each other to impress at the wedding of President Mugabe’s daughter, Bona, to Simba Chikore earlier this year

The wedding of former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono’s daughter was colour-themed and guests showered the newly weds with lavish gifts including cash. Although the final numbers could not be established, it is understood that a handsome figure was netted with the ex-governor throwing in a Borrowdale Brook house to boot.

There are also the odd occassions where guests are told not to bother bringing any presents at all.

Flowers are a simple but affectionate way of giving presents as they are also affordable, and this could be the reason why people give flower presents to the sick. Again usually when a first born baby arrives, a lot of presents are showered but this later fades away with time when more babies come.

Is it a symbol of first cut or what?

On the international scene, US rapper and business mogul P Diddy recently splashed US$72,3 million for his son Justin’s 20th birthday aboard a private yatch.

Famous proud parents Jay-Z and Beyonce showered their daughter Blue Ivy (17 months) with luxury gifts. Some of the gifts included Christian Dior baby booties, and a silver Elsa Peretti Padova baby set with her name engraved.

Essentially, gifts should not be a valuation of one’s worth as they are a show of how much one values the person they are giving the gift. Some gifts carry sentimental value rather than monetary or material value.

Source : The Herald