We each have our own ideas about what constitutes a bad gift. When I was a child, I thought the box of socks an aunt gave me each Christmas was a terrible gift. Now, at the ripe old age of…never mind…I have a different perspective.
Today, I’m able to appreciate the time my aunt took to choose each pair of socks, as well as her desire to keep me warm and comfortable during those cold winters. But I learned a couple of valuable lessons from my aunt’s gifts: one, don’t give socks to kids and expect them to be excited about it, and two; save practical gifts for more practical occasions.
On the other hand, no amount of time and perspective can change my feelings about other questionable gifts I’ve been given through the years. The space ship-shaped, salt and pepper shakers, a purple, green and yellow knitted shawl (which was especially difficult to dislike because the giver made it herself) and the dog-faced slippers that barked when I squeezed an ear. I had to hide those slippers in a closet because my dog hated them, too.
There are gag gifts, meant to be funny and awful, but the awful part of most gifts is unintentional. They are chosen with thought, wrapped with care, and given with love and good wishes, but they’re just not what we would choose for ourselves.
The old expression, “It’s not the gift but the thought that counts,” is certainly true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The act of choosing a gift and wrapping it can be a big part of the fun for the giver.
Kids, especially, love to wrap presents for people, and they’re so delighted with their work that it’s hard to resist their excitement—even when the gift is a carefully chosen rock.
Dear friends try to appreciate every gift with much pleasure in order to please the giver even though it’s not the one you wanted or expected from that person.