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The Memory Lamp Solution to the Tradition of Gift Giving

by Wendy Jacobson

Sunflower Memory Lamp from OneWorld Memorials


Beneath the surface of a gift is usually the intent that the giver appreciates the recipient. A gift didn’t always represent that intention. Gift-giving is a tradition that dates back thousands of years. It is one of the oldest of human activities.

Status was often dictated not by who had the most possessions, but by who gave away the most. And as civilization evolved, so did the gifts that one would give, as well as the reasons for giving. In Roman times, for instance, people presented each other with good luck tokens. These were used as presents to show allegiance, a practice still used today. In Medieval times, gifts were used to secure a personal favor of the king.

Today, gift giving is very much a part of our culture. We give gifts for various occasions and celebrations, and for “just because.” These gifts are used as a means of expression, communicating with each other, and establishing bonds. The giver uses the gift to convey his or her emotions with the recipient. And when the receiver shares in those feelings, a connection is felt. Making connections gives us a sense of purpose and a feeling of satisfaction, which really brings out the best in us.

Gifts and why we give them

What makes an otherwise impersonal object a gift? It’s the meaning in the act of giving the item for both the giver and the recipient.

Not only is gift giving a powerful way to connect, but research has shown that it provides psychological benefits:

  • We feel happy when we give someone a gift
  • Our state of mind is improved when we give gifts
  • Our social connections are enhanced when we give gifts
  • Gift-giving is contagious

Maybe it is for these reasons that it’s said, “it is better to give than it is to receive.” 

The gift of a memory lamp

Have you ever found yourself zoning out on trying to come up with a unique gift? As a solution to traditional gifts, memory lamps are taking the market by storm.

The Tiffany Style Teapot Memory Lamp, for example, is a unique lamp that resembles a teapot made from 400 pieces of hand-cut glass. The teapot lamp makes a thoughtful hostess gift at holiday time, or a precious gift for a tea-lover in your life.

Other occasions merit the consideration of a memory lamp that provides a lasting tribute. In celebration of a new baby, an angel memory lamp such as the Cherub Frosted Glass Memory Lamp will brighten up a baby’s nursery. As an alternative to sending flowers, memory lamps are just as colorful (or more so) and they last much longer. And the Sunflower Memory Lamp won’t bother anyone’s allergies!

Memory lamps are an ideal replacement to burning candles. They are safer, and last much longer. As a sympathy memory lamp, they provide a wonderful alternative to a more traditional bereavement gift.

Gifts are important – especially when the intent is gratitude. Think of your gift as a note that says, “You are important to me just the way you are.” Or, “I’ve thought of you often and this gift is a symbol of my heartfelt thoughts.” Even a note itself can become a treasured gift.

Wendy Jacobson is a freelance writer living in Minneapolis with her husband, two kids and dog. She helped market her mother’s book, “Hands Off My Hope: Life Lessons on my Journey with Breast Cancer” at the request of her mom, who died two weeks after publishing it in 2008. She also is the editor of Minneapolis Happening, a digital lifestyle magazine about what’s happening in Minneapolis and the surrounding area.