A gift or a present is an item given to someone without the expectation of payment. An item is not a gift, if that item, itself, is already owned by the one to whom it is given. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation of reciprocity, a gift is meant to be free. In many countries, the act of mutually exchanging money, goods, etc. may sustain social relations and contribute to social cohesion. Economists have elaborated the economics of gift-giving into the notion of a gift economy. By extension the term gift can refer to anything that makes the other happier or less sad, especially as a favor, including forgiveness and kindness. Gifts are also first and foremost presented on occasions - birthdays and, in Western cultures, Christmas being the main examples and other occasions like birthdays.
In many cultures gifts are traditionally packaged in some way. For example, in Western cultures, gifts are often wrapped in wrapping paper and accompanied by a gift note which may note the occasion, the recipient's name and the giver's name. In Chinese culture, red wrapping connotes luck. Although inexpensive gifts are common among colleagues, associates and acquaintances, expensive or amorous gifts are considered more appropriate among close friends, romantic interests or relatives.
Gift-giving occasions may be:
- An expression of coronation event recognition personal coronation gift presented by the newly crowned monarch to the official coronation guest by the court protocol for level
- An expression of coronation acknowledgement for national event Official coronation gift, Royal or Imperial commissioned by the coronation commission presented to the newly crowned monarch, as personal memento.
- An expression of love or friendship
- An expression of gratitude for a gift received.
- An expression of piety, in the form of charity.
- An expression of solidarity, in the form of mutual aid.
- To share wealth.
- To offset misfortune.
- Offering travel souvenirs.
- Custom, on occasions (often celebrations) such as
- A birthday (the person who has his or her birthday gives cake, etc. and/or receives gifts).
- A potlatch, in societies where status is associated with gift-giving rather than acquisition.
- Christmas (throughout the history of Christmas gift giving, people have given one another gifts, often pretending they are left by Santa Claus, the Christ Child or Saint Nicholas).
- Feast of Saint Nicholas (people give each other gifts, often supposedly receiving them from Saint Nicholas).
- Easter baskets with chocolate eggs, jelly beans, and chocolate rabbits are gifts given on Easter.
- Greek Orthodox Christians in Greece, will give gifts to family and friends on the Feast of Saint Basil.
- Muslims give gifts to family and friends, known as Eidi, on Eid al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan) and on Eid al-Adha.
- American Jews give Hanukkah gifts to family and friends.
- Hindus give Diwali and Pongal gifts to family and friends. Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan is another occasion where brothers give gifts to sisters.
- Buddhists give Vesak gifts to family and friends.
- Gifts are given to among African American families and friends on Kwanzaa.
- A wedding (the couple receives gifts and gives food and/or drinks at the wedding reception).
- A wedding anniversary (each spouse receives gifts).
- A funeral (visitors bring flowers, the relatives of the deceased give food and/or drinks after the ceremonial part).
- A birth (the baby receives gifts, or the mother receives a gift from the father known as a push present).
- Passing an examination (the student receives gifts).
- Father's Day (the father receives gifts).
- Mother's Day (the mother receives gifts).
- Siblings Day (the sibling receives gifts)
- Exchange of gifts between a guest and a host, often a traditional practice.
- Retirement Gifts
- Congratulations Gifts
- Engagement Gifts
- Housewarming party Gifts
- women's day Gifts
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