I truly believe that when giving a gift, it is the thought that counts. This past Holiday Season (a.k.a. Christmas) I received a couple of gifts that reminded me that it IS “the thought that counts”. One of the “gifts” was an e-card from a friend.
An e-card from a friend may not seem like such a big deal especially since it was from one of those FREE email card websites but consider this, the e-card was sent from a woman I met online who happens to live in India who happens to be a Hindu. Suddenly, this gift, this simple e-card, took on a whole new meaning as far as I was concerned. She sent me an e-card with the audio of Silver Bells. How Cool Is That!
Okay, I had to run to the tissue box. A simple card reduced me to tears. I’m not saying that every gift you give should bring the recipient to tears, but the best gifts come from the heart and from the soul.
I received many wonderful and thoughtful gifts this Christmas. Snowshoes and gift certificates to some of my favorite places were certainly in the top ten but there was one other very simple gift that impacted me the same way the e-card did.
I work part time in a real estate office (anyone with a retired husband at home will understand why choose I spend time outside of the home). One of my co-workers gave me a jar of homemade raspberry jam. Over the past few months she talked about tending the raspberry bushes and picking the berries. It was just simple small talk among co-workers. Then in the fall she talked about preparing the bushes for winter.
Again, the conversations were just the kind of water cooler chit chat that happens in every office. But… this water cooler chit chat told me that her raspberry bushes were important to her. When she gave me a jar of homemade raspberry jam that SHE made from raspberries that SHE tended and picked, a simple jar of raspberry jam took on a whole different meaning. This was a very special gift.
Diamond necklaces, big screen TVs, tickets to professional sporting events or Caribbean cruises are wonderful gifts but so are simple e-cards or jars of homemade jam. When choosing a gift, forget about the dollar value of the gift and concentrate on the emotional value.
One Christmas my sister gave me a bottle of wine. What made this particular bottle of wine special was that it was made in a winery that had opened just two doors down from the house we grew up in. The wine was very good but the thought that went into the gift and the emotion that it invoked, were far more delicious.
Another inexpensive gift I received that I love is a hand-woven scarf that was given to me as a Christmas gift 20 plus years ago. Every time I wear the scarf, which is quite often, I think of the friend who gave it to me. We have since lost touch but when I wear the scarf I think of her and hope that she is healthy and happy.
Handmade gifts are extra special. If you don’t have a talent for any craft, look for gifts at local craft fairs or specialty shops in your area. One of my favorite “little” gifts to give (and receive) is handmade soap. I buy cakes of handmade soap by the dozen and give them to office staff, nephews’ girlfriends and service people like the office manager at the company that delivers our fuel oil.
Products from local small industries also make great and memorable gifts. Living in New Hampshire we have plenty of maple sugar houses in the area. A jug of maple syrup and a package of locally made pancake mix makes a thoughtful gift for many occasions. Use an appropriately themed gift bag, a sheet of colorful tissue paper and you are done.
Gift giving doesn’t have to be difficult and can be a very pleasant experience when you just give it a little thought.