A gift can be defined as an item which is given to someone by somebody who does not expect payment in return. The gift has to be given by the person who owns it. Nevertheless, gift giving may involve an anticipation of reciprocity. Most countries engage in mutual exchanging as they deal with money and goods among others. This is mostly done to sustain social relations in order to contribute to social cohesion. In gift giving gift refers to something that makes another person happy and reduces sadness. Gifts is inclusive of everything, it does not have to be just tangible or material things but also the imperceptible like forgiveness, kindness, and caring among others. Gift giving may involve implicit or explicit agreement between the one giving the gift and the one who is receiving; the receivers have to render a service due to the gift. It mostly happens between groups, organizations or NGO, s.
Gift giving comprises of concepts such as the Socialization Agents, Separation of Church and State, Profane, Sacredness (Nicholas, 2013). These concepts depend heavily on the type of gift that is rendered and whom and in which continent. Socializing agents can be defined as the institutions and groups which influence the behavior such as the school, mass media, religion, peer groups and people among others. Each of these socializing agents has a role to play. For example the school integrates people in society. Moreover the socializing agents demand a process of learning the interpersonal and interactional skills conforming to the values, customs and norms of that community of society. The learning helps in the holistic development where the giver and the receiver share and exchange ideas. As a result, the participation and functioning of the process involved in gift giving becomes easier and worthwhile.
According to Nicholas there are gifts that reflect the spirit of the season, this does not necessarily mean that the season is tangible but it is a gift to any socializing agent in order to change the life of a person in future. This is very perceptible in charitable institutions who donate for education, to help prevent the unwanted pregnancies, for rehabilitation, and for poverty reduction among others. For example, in Nicholas’s article he focuses on the creative programs in the United States and abroad. These programs aims at inciting people to help the less fortunate internationally ; the rescue committee and heifer international are some of these well established charity institutions which helps the poor girl child in Ethiopia. In addition, he talks about the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy prevention program for the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. All these institutions have a program that gives cheerfully to the less fortunate. It is a gift giving of a different kind which helps to change the life of the poor and the vulnerable and most importantly to break the cord that makes poverty to self-replicate. The giving helps to break the cycle of poverty; Nicholas states that the kid who happens to get a kid means that she must drop from school and the baby she gets has huge disadvantages and so poverty self-replicates (Nicholas 2013).
In gift giving there is a distinction between church and state because of the protocols and policies that must be followed. The church organization that engages in gift giving is not taxed and the things that they engage with do not have to be organizational based. They only notify the state of their being in the country and the activities they are engaged with but they do not have to give detailed information of the extent of their giving. However, their gift giving should reflect the norms and the customs of any given state. When it comes to state gift giving there must be a memorandum of understanding and so the state can only give through the organizations or programs such as the ones given by Nicholas above. Nevertheless, if they have to give their gifts they should state if they expect anything in return.
The sacredness and profaneness of gift giving depends on the giver. When it comes to sacred giving the intention is well elaborated and the giving involves a self will where the giver gives to the socializing agents with or without expectation. When it comes to expectation the sacred gift giving may expect the beneficiaries of the gifts to give back their gifts in terms of knowledge or money to other charitable institutions. The profaneness of gift giving involves a giver who demands back from the beneficiaries, for example, a state may render services to another country with an expectation that they will be receiving particular resources from that country. This can be mutual benefit between the countries, however when a particular state does this with a hidden agenda then it becomes sacrilegious. Gift giving is sacred and the giving should be done in a religious manner where the giver has not hidden agenda and is giving for the benefit of other people and the community at large who will enjoy the gifts of the beneficiaries. For example, a teacher who has received education aid will be a gift to the community.