Terrouge E-zine Archives
Enthusiastic Monthly Exhortation
You'll probably give several presents this month, in appreciation of friends and family. You may spend as little as five cents or as much as fifty dollars, but no matter what you spend, one thing will remain constant: you'll want the person to enjoy what they get.
But what makes a gift great? You could, if you felt so inclined, spend $200 to buy your little brother an X-Box, and he'd probably be thrilled. If you bought the same gift for your mother, however, she'd likely be less happy. So it can't be the price of the gift that determines the quality, which is good news for the financially-challenged among us. If not cost, however, what is it?
You've all heard it many times before, but I would contend that thought is the primary factor that determines whether or not a gift is appreciated. In the Christmas of 2000 I received many presents, but I can't remember most of them today. The one I do remember was hardly counted by its giver as a gift at all, and probably cost less than ten cents. It was a letter. My friend had been paying attention to me, and had noticed that I was feeling a bit down. He wrote me a nice letter, designed to make me smile and let me know he'd be there for me. He composed a hilarious "Ode to Erin," complete with forced rhymes and silly simile. I'm not sure how many times I've reread that letter, but it always brings a smile to my face. I have a friend, Amy, who says that the best gift she ever gave-a bag of plastic forks and a roll of toilet paper-cost less than five dollars. You and I would probably be less than thrilled with such a present, but the person Amy gave it to loved it, because it showed that she had listened to this person enough to know the inside joke.
Gifts in Redwall follow the same formula; kind beasts give food and shelter to travelers in need; parents gift children with family heirlooms to allow them responsibility; and friends give each other prized possessions as a mark of trust. These are all things that the gift-receiver needs or deeply wants.
There are many ways to show that you care: a personal letter or a joke gift are only two of them. You could bring over a plate of your friend's favorite kind of cookies. You could buy them the next book by their favorite author, or a ticket to the first showing of a movie they're excited about (The Two Towers!). You could get them an action figure featuring their favorite character from their favorite T.V. show. You could get them something related to their interests, like a set of elegant pens for a writer, a stack of beautiful paper for someone who likes scrapbooking, or a set of new wrist guards for a rollerblader.
Feel free to spend money on your loved ones this holiday season, but make sure that it is well-spent. With an early start and an attentive ear, you can easily get the perfect gifts for all your friends and relatives. The feeling of satisfaction you'll get from their happiness will make it well worth it.