While at work two weeks ago I posed this question to my co-workers, “What was the greatest gift you ever received?” They stared at me like I had three heads but I gave them the same look when they couldn’t come up with an answer. I was extremely surprised, one of them told me the worst gift she received (an iron, which she asked for), but couldn’t recall a gift that really meant something to her.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks the best kind of gift is the unexpected. It’s one of those sentimental presents that you didn’t ask for or didn’t even consider. It doesn’t necessary have to be a thing either. A hug from your grandfather after not seeing him for a year can be an emotional moment for you, watching your child open their first present with pure excitement and wonder in their eyes, could be the ultimate gift for you or enjoying that yearly piece of pie that grandma used to make, the recipe passed down from generation to generation.
Granted, your five hundred dollar handbag or a new pair of red bottom shoes can give you that same elated feeling. Sure, I remember when my mom surprised me with a MacBook in middle school and I remember the first Raggedy Ann that I ever received–mainly because she scared the hell out of me–and my first name brand handbag (a leopard Juicy Couture bag that I honestly never used because I was so afraid of messing it up) when I was in high school. Those were great gifts but the greatest gift I ever received was a book.
For around twelve dollars I was moved to tears. You can laugh, because my coworkers did, but it was so unexpected and that’s why it means so much to me.
The book was from my ex-boyfriend and it was our second Christmas together. Unfortunately, there was never a third but even though it has been a few years this is the gift that still sticks with me. I can tell you I was honestly very confused as I unwrapped it. Here I am, in my early 20’s, a picture of a fish staring back at me. The book itself wasn’t some huge novel but a children’s book, The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen.
What I love about the book itself is the second page:
“A gift should be big,
And a gift should be bright.
And a gift should be perfect-
Guaranteed to bring delight.
And a gift should have meaning
Plus a bit of bling-zing
So I’ll shop till I drop
For each just-right thing!”
Isn’t that just the perfect message? It makes me feel like he went above and beyond to find the perfect gift. The other reason this book is very special to me is because of the tradition and the sentiment behind it. So inside, he wrote a little message to me:
The words pulled at my heart strings then and now. I appreciate the fact that he cared enough for me to include me in his family tradition.
So shout out to my ex, for the most sentimental and thoughtful gift I have ever received.
I know this holiday season is quickly coming to a close but if you have any last minute gifts you need to buy or you’re planning for next year already, remember you don’t necessary have to spend hundreds of dollars to show someone how much they mean to you. An expensive gift is great but how much value do clothes or whatever have down the line once it goes out of style or you get tired of it?
You know what lasts a lifetime? Words.