A Change in Tradition: Giving a Sympathy Gift

by WineGirl

In the past, it has always been customary to send a bouquet of flowers or a card to express your sympathy or condolences in the event of a loss of a loved one. These gifts have always had a way of expressing the right sentiment in a beautiful way.

It has often been said that traditions die hard. That may be true but when it comes to sympathy gifts, tradition comes head-on with trendy and modern at the most unexpected time. But isn’t that often the case– when you least expect it old meets new when we are most unprepared to deal with it.

During a time of loss flowers are said to express the depth of our sadness and grief. A card speaks volumes when we are not able to vocalize one syllable during such a time. Long-held traditions and beliefs certainly. The only way to express sadness and sympathy, well that remains to be seen.

Given the fact that we are well into the new millennium, new and modern is the order of the day. This should surprise no one. Many long-held traditions have, sooner or later, been challenged or questioned as the “only way” in all fields of life and experience, so why not during times of loss.

Sympathy gifts can range from a basket of fruit and flowers to a bottle of wine; a candle, gourmet cheese, all in an elegant open weave basket with wooden handles. What could be wrong or out of place with that! Out of place never! Expressing a thought or a feeling? Well many think so.

Nonetheless, be honest with yourself, when you see a sympathy gift during a time of loss, how do you feel? Do you think – a bottle of wine — does it fit the occasion? Or worst yet – whose celebrating now! Well, all joking aside, what a sympathy gift really says is our thoughts and hearts are with you. That trendy and modern and the statement behind the gift should never be missed.

Of course, this goes against the customary sympathy gifts of greeting cards or flowers. Despite this break with tradition, unconventional gift ideas are steadily increasing in popularity as more people discover these alternatives. A number of companies are now selling special sympathy packages as gifts. Many retailers specialize even further and only sell sympathy gifts and packages. Some of these specialty retailers even offer consultants to help choose the perfect sympathy gift for the moment.

For instance, some of the winemakers themselves have begun offering specialized packages for wines used as sympathy gifts. Of course, a warm, hand-written note is always a nice touch for a loved one who is grieving, but many of these packages can be sent as-is and the intent as a sympathy gift will be clear.

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