The burden of buying Eid gifts
The entire month leading up to Eid feels like one big shopping extravaganza. There isn't a day that goes by during the holy month when the shops aren't filled to the brim with customers. One Eid tradition that has reigned for years is the act of giving gifts. Whether it's a bright saree for your mum or a shirt your brother has been eyeing for some time, everyone is on the hunt to get their loved ones a thoughtful present. But, in this economy, this once simple and sweet gesture has turned into a burden for some.
Exchanging Eid gifts has become an increasingly expensive affair thanks to inflation. With the rise in the cost of raw materials, every product – from necessities to luxuries – has been subject to a price hike. A good quality panjabi with a simple design is going to cost three times more now than it did previously. It's worse for those with larger families as they are compelled to give out more gifts, putting a larger dent on their wallets.
Since Eid presents have become a norm in our society, it has gotten to a point where family members have come to expect them. If you have a job, everyone just assumes you are able to buy gifts or give out salami. This expectation makes it all the more difficult to escape the whole ordeal.
It becomes even more stressful when someone gives you a present because then there's added pressure to reciprocate. The process feels more like an obligation and takes the fun and celebratory aspect out of the equation.
Additionally, the recent heatwave terrorising the country has made the process of Eid shopping almost unbearable. Simply being outside in this scorching weather is a daunting feat, and for those who are fasting, it dehydrates them faster. That is why many people have opted to shop in stores that are more spacious and equipped with better facilities. However, by doing this, they miss out on the markets that sell good quality clothes at a much more reasonable price.
With the experience becoming more hectic than ever before, the added pressure of the incessant traffic and the crows, it begs the question of whether or not retail therapy is even therapeutic anymore. No matter the time of day, the traffic seems to persist, especially in the vicinity of popular retailers.
Shopping used to be an enjoyable activity; a break from reality even. But now, with barely any room to breathe and large queues outside stores, the shopping experience has been ruined.
With inflation, heatwave and traffic, buying Eid presents has become a painstaking challenge. Maybe it's about time we cut down on our spending. We need to break out of the mindset of purchasing expensive gifts and focus on the thought behind them instead of the price tag.
Moreover, trying to please your entire family and friends by giving everyone something is nearly impossible. So, you might just be better off limiting the volume of gifts you're giving out.
After all, we must remind ourselves that Eid isn't only about presents or what you put on your back, it's the celebration that counts.
Noyolee is overthinking about what presents to get her loved ones. Stop her before she becomes broke at [email protected]