Yesterday I received a package from a dear friend of mine which among other things included an absolutely beautiful knife which being something of a knife junkie made me exceedingly happy. Looking at this beautiful piece of art (that’s what it is, art with an edge) I felt and still feel slightly regretful that I will never be able to do something just as nice for them. That got me to thinking about gift giving in general. I know from my own experience that when someone receives a well thought out gift then comes trying to figure out what to give them in return and should they say not to attempt something in return it can leave a person at loose ends. My suggestion is instead of giving something to them, do something meaningful for them. In the case of my friend and I, I’m going sit down in the next few days and start writing him a handwritten letter. Also I hate going to the dentist and have avoided doing so for years despite the fact that I need to. However and as soon as we can figure out how much it will run I’m going without complaint for the most part even though I can think of about a hundred things I’d like doing better that are far from pleasant in and of themselves. A large part of my agreeing to do so is because of his concern for me.
Gifts are less about material possession than the thought behind them. I don’t like metal anywhere near my mouth but I will put up with it knowing that it will make him worry less because I’m actually making an attempt at least to take care of myself. My suggestion if you’re stuck on what to get for a particular person during the holidays is to think about actions that would mean the most to them, like making them a special dinner if you can cook or paying for dinner out if you can’t or if the other person regularly picks up the tab on your lunch or dinner dates. Or writing a letter despite the fact that you think your handwriting is atrocious. Smile.