My daughter is now 24, a graduate of SMU, and the operations manager of a high end retail boutique. She is presently working on her MBA. In short, she has an excellent beginning for a comfortable career. Gifting is therefore less about need and more about niche items that one does not always buy for oneself. One gift that always works between us is any sort of really good coffee.
This year I decided to gift a flock of chicks in her name from Heifer International. I was not particularly preoccupied about it, but I did not know what her response would be. I could not have been more gratified; she was instantly touched that a poor family somewhere had been given much needed aid, describing the gift as “warm and fuzzy.” She occasionally mentioned it until she left, even imitating the “peep peep” of young chicks.
We have a new gifting tradition, one that I expect to grow. Actively participating to improve another’s life precisely at the moment when we might be most tempted to think of ourselves seems to me the finest sort of gift.