When it comes to presents, I like mine to be consumable. I’m a great fan of gift vouchers. A recent gift of an Amazon Gift Card allowed me to meet the wonderful Poke Rafferty and explore life in Bangkok. A massage voucher took me to the Buda Hills, where I got to see the remnants of one of the first golf courses in Europe. And a trio of tokens for a chain of wine shops in the city opened up new vineyards, hitherto untasted. Yep – others might think gift vouchers as an easy way out, but me … I like ’em.
When it comes to housewarming gifts, I tend to go with tradition. Booze is always a good one. In Hungary, judging by the number of jars of honey I received when I moved into my flat, I think that’s a safe traditional pick for this part of the world.
Last weekend, I was introduced to a new line in gift giving, one that’s been around for eons apparently but to date had managed to escape my notice.
Bread: So that the house may never know hunger…or…so your cupboards will always be full
Salt: So life may always have flavor
Wine: So that you always have joy and never be thirsty (or always be in a good mood)
Honey: So that you may always enjoy the sweetness of life
Candle: So that you may dwell in light and happiness
It certainly beats a toaster in the creativity stakes. Am not sure about always being in a good mood though – that might get a little tiresome.
And there’s more
Broom: So your home may always be clean … or … to help sweep away any evil and bad luck
Coin: So you may dwell in good fortune
Plant: So your home always has life
Wood: So your home has stability, harmony, and peace
And grateful though I am for the introduction to this particular tradition, I’m even more grateful that there was no rice!
PS. If anyone has any culture-specific gifts to add to the list, please share. Am officially curious.