Dilemma: You perform a heart operation for a non muslim patient. As a thank you she gives you a basket of fruit, nuts and a bottle of champagne. What do you do with the bottle of bubbly?
2:262 (Y. Ali) Those who spend their substance in the cause of Allah, and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury,-for them their reward is with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
Abu Huraira, r.a., reported that the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, said, “Give gifts to one another, and you will love one another.” Bukhari
Ibn Abi Mas’ud al Badri reported that the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, said, “Anyone who spends money on his family and seeks blessings for doing so will find it counted as sadaqah (charity) on his behalf.”
Narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “The Messenger of Allaah used to accept gifts and reward people for giving them.”
The Prophet enjoined responding in kind to favours, as he said in an authentic narration: “Whoever does you a favour, respond in kind, and if you cannot find the means of doing so, then keep praying for him until you think that you have responded in kind.” [Abu Daawood]
Usaamah Ibn Zayd said: The Messenger of Allaah said: “Whoever has a favour done for him and says ‘Jazaak Allaahu khayran’ has done his utmost to thank him.” [At-Tirmidhi]
1. Make a List (and check it twice!): The list of people you will want to buy gifts for and the list of people you actually can afford to buy gifts for may be very different. Begin by jotting down the names of those family members and friends you absolutely must give gifts to. This may include your mother, father, grandfather, brother, godmother, best friend. On a separate piece of paper, put down the names of those you would like to acknowledge this holiday season… a favorite teacher, friend, aunt or cousin.
2. Create a budget. Only you know how much money you have and what you can spend on each person. Remember, the cost of your gift should not be the deciding factor in its success. Gifts given with love and sincerity are worth more than fancy jewelry or expensive clothes. Assign a dollar amount to each name on your list. For example, $10 for your brother, $15 for your mother or father, $5 on your grandmother. If you plan your budget ahead of time, you will be better prepared to shop within your gift-giving means.
3. Start shopping as soon as possible. If you begin shopping for your gifts in advance, you will have more time to hunt for sale items, special promotions and interesting products. Begin to check the local newspapers for sales, coupons and other incentives. Cut these coupons and sales out of the newspaper and keep them in a folder. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save if you take advantage of special store offers.
4. Give from the heart. The first rule for any gift-giving guru is to give a gift you know your recipient will love, not necessarily a gift you love. For instance, just because you hate plaid doesn’t mean you pass up that terrific plaid purse your mother has been eyeing in the local accessory shop. Your mother will love that you paid attention to her desires and went out of your way to find a gift you know she wanted.
5. Don’t impulse buy. Shopping, at any time, can be confusing. The stores are filled with temptations to make you overspend and buy items you don’t necessarily need. And the holidays are the perfect time for shopkeepers and department stores to tempt you even more. Be an educated gift shopper. Don’t purchase the first item you see and definitely compare prices. With today’s overstocked stores, you never need to buy in a hurry.
6. Beware of wrappings. You’ve heard the phrase, “good things come in small packages?” Well, that may be true but the packages don’t need to have fancy ribbons, bows and bags, do they? Watch out for your gift wrapping prices. Boxes, mylar bags, cards and fancy tape cost a lot of money and can greatly increase your expenses. Why not wrap your gifts instead in hand-made bows or recycled bags and boxes? You can make your own cards on the computer and design your own wrapping paper.
7. Hand-made gifts still say “I love you.” In today’s crazy, trendy world of spending, it is rather refreshing to get a hand-made gift. Why not create a decoupage picture frame, a studded t-shirt or headband for your sister or your favorite aunt. Maybe you want to fill that beautiful cookie tin with homemade chocolates or pastries for your godmother. And your dad, he might really enjoy a miniature model of that hot sports car he’s always dreaming about…especially if it’s made with your own two hands. But don’t be fooled into thinking that hand-made gifts are free. Craft products and accessories can add up so shop wisely for paints, glue and glitter. Check prices at superstores in your neighborhood.
8. Chip In with a family member or friend. Two heads are better than one and sometimes so are two pocketbooks. Why not pool your resources with your brother, father, mother, etc. You can even go in with a friend on craft supplies and art products.
source: Art of gift giving