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Tip of the Month

Five Gifts You Should Never Give


Giving and receiving gifts is a wonderful exchange that shows we care. One would think that any gift that is given from the heart is good. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. An inauspicious gift is bad news no matter how noble your intentions are. Taken in a Feng Shui perspective, some things are worse compared to others. Here are the top 5 gifts you should never give to anyone.

1. Never Give Sharp Objects

Gifts of sharp objects are actually more popular than one would expect because most people don't see them as such. Examples of sharp objects that are unsuitable as gifts include the following: blade, chainsaw, dagger, hunting knife, letter opener, penknife, scissors, Swiss Army knife, sword, etc (see anything familiar here).

There are a couple of reasons that make sharp items objectionable. Giving sharp objects as a gift will literally sever the friendship. As sharp objects are a natural source of malicious "killing breath" or Shar Chi, such gifts will result in you unintentionally sending bad luck to your friend.

2. Never Give Timepieces

In the West, timepieces are, in fact, quite well-liked as gifts. These include: alarm clock, wall clock, pocket watch, wristwatch, etc.

Timepieces measure the passage of time and this indirectly suggests a limited lifespan, which is very inauspicious. In Chinese (Cantonese), to give a clock or soong joong sounds exactly like the Chinese term for attending a funeral, which is naturally very taboo.


3. Never Give Red Roses

Did you know that you should never give red roses? Long stemmed red roses with sharp thorns are terrible as gifts. The longer the stem and the sharper the thorns ... the more the relationship will suffer. If you send your lover a bouquet of red roses - romantic and all - it will be the beginning of the end of the relationship.

It is better for you to give cream or pink roses. Feng Shui-wise, yellow roses work even better to help enhance that loving feeling. Remember to have the thorns removed before you deliver them to your lover.

Never send red and white roses to a loved one who is in hospital. These are so inauspicious that in hospitals all over UK, there is the tradition with regards to floral gifts from well-wishers. If bunches of red and white roses or any variety of flowers arrive for anybody, they throw the flowers away immediately and make sure none of them reach the patients. A gift comprising a bunch of red and white blooms are considered to be a DEATH WISH.

4. Never Give Shoes

In Chinese (Cantonese), the word for shoes, 'hai', sounds very much like a sigh. This is very inauspicious as it suggests much unhappiness. A gift of shoes to your friend would be akin to sending bad luck his/her way.

5. Never Give Handkerchiefs

Gifts of handkerchiefs are also traditionally frowned upon. This is because a handkerchief is used to wipe away sweat and tears, which suggests a lot of sadness and frustration. Giving handkerchiefs as gifts suggest that you anticipate him/her to be doing much crying in the future. This generates such an inauspicious chi.

Remedy For Your Predicament

What do you do if you have a really fantastic gift? Something that you know your friend will be truly ecstatic about? Well I have some good news for you. The Chinese have a simple remedy for sharp metal gifts that belong to the first category.

Ask for a coin or some change (make sure it is metal) before you present your gift to the recipient. This simple exchange symbolizes a "purchase", instead of a "gift". Since your friend symbolically "paid" for the item, it is no longer considered a "gift". This uncomplicated remedy works only for sharp metal items.