The Wonders of Gifts

Who doesn’t like to receive a gift? The unknown. The thinking of what it could be. Who’s giving me something? What if I open it and immediately think why would I want this with the gift giver beside me?

Then there are the gifts I open and think ”perfect” — just what I’ve always wanted.

Gifts don’t always come in boxes or creative packaging. They don’t even have to be wrapped. A gift of a new car usually comes with a big red bow and ribbon. At least they do on TV commercials.

But gifts are not always necessarily gifts per se. Gifts come as random acts of kindness. I love the gift of a simple smile from a stranger, or a light nod of the head.

Gifts come from many people and places. The gift of the view of the Grand Canyon. The awe-inspiring emotional gift that comes from seeing Michelangelo’s David or his Pieta.

The gift of a book from a friend and then the gift of the story it tells.

That feeling of dropping something into The Salvation Army’s red kettle at Christmas. It warms your insides.

And oh, what would we do without the many lifetime gifts of our memories?

Gifts are precious and we receive many every day if we keep our eyes open.

Daffodils — backyard

Surprise Gifts

My mother was the master of surprise gifts.

One Easter as a child she told me to go into her bedroom and bring her what she had left on the dresser.

I opened the door to find my Barbie doll decked out in a new navy and white polka dotted dress, seated atop Easter grass and lots of Easter candy. What a neat surprise gift.

Then there was the time she sent me to the hardware store. She said she had ordered something. She told me to ask Mr. So and So and he’d take care of it.

I biked into town and arrived at the hardware store. There stood Mr. So and So with a bright blue, shiny, new bicycle just my size. I was so excited. I still see that bike in my mind. What a gift and the thought behind it.

Mother could do such loving things.

Flowers

Surely we all like receiving flowers. I give the gift of flowers to myself every so often when I go to the grocery. Love the carnations. They’re inexpensive and last awhile.

I’ve always wondered whether men liked receiving flowers. Is this an oddball question?

Maybe some men readers could enlighten me with their thoughts. However, it just occurred to me this would be a good question for a florist. I’d rather hear from you though.

Sage inspecting Valentine’s Day roses.

I have a friend who said she told her husband not to give her flowers for Valentine’s Day. Said she really didn’t want them. So, I’m thinking she missed out.

I have another friend whose husband used to give her flowers now and then. Then one day she upped and told him to quit giving her flowers. She said they were pricey and nice, but she really didn’t need them.

So he stopped giving her flowers. Now she’s so sorry she ever said that. Flowers no longer come her way.

Here’s a little funny flowers story. At one point, Paul worked at a place where a lot of Friday afternoons a man would come in offering flowers for sale.

You know, some men might want to take flowers home for their wife or girlfriend, get the weekend started off right.

On occasion Paul would buy some. It was so nice — receiving flowers ”just because.” It happened a few times that he would bring them home and accidentally leave them in his truck.

He would get in the truck Monday morning to find them sitting there on the passenger’s seat — wilted. His heart was in the right place though. It is the thought that counts, right?

I remember the first time I received a dozen red roses. They were from my dad. Totally unexpected. I was in the hospital for the head injury. He delighted in telling the story of getting them.

It was in February around Valentine’s. He told the florist what he wanted to order. She tried to discourage him from buying roses because they were so expensive at that particular time.

He said he didn’t mind and he wanted roses. It wasn’t as though my dad had money socked away. I love this story. I love my dad.

Random Acts and Gifts

Two memorable gifts of kindness I’ve received have come from Paul, though there are others naturally from him and different people. I know you have some of your own I would love to hear. Please leave a comment.

We were dining at OK Cafe. We absolutely love their baked sweet potatoes. However, we have since learned that Longhorn has the best sweet potato. I share this in case you’re running around looking for a great sweet potato. Ha!

So back at OK, we’ve placed our order and we both got sweet potatoes. When the order arrived, we noticed mine looked as if it had been run over by a car. Paul’s looked as though it had arrived freshly from the farm.

I started adding brown sugar, pecans, and butter to my potato. I was eating that when Paul casually asked if I wanted to give him my potato. I asked why and continued eating. He shrugged his shoulders.

I wondered why he’d asked. It occurred to me ever so slowly and slightly. He was willing to exchange potatoes so he would take the icky sweet potato and swap me his.

Once this clicked in my mind, I started crying right there at the table. Such a tender gesture. This is touching probably only to me.

Orange Vase, a wedding gift — photo ys

One time I was feeling down in the dumps. I told Paul I needed one or two four-leaf clovers. He has a knack for finding them.

A little later I saw him in the yard scouring through the clover. When he came back in he said he didn’t have any luck, but asked if this would do.

It was a five-leaf clover. Luck for sure on his part. It brought a lightheartedness to me. It wasn’t long before I was out of the dumps. Nice emotional gift.

Receiving Gifts

One of the neatest things about receiving gifts are the possibilities. People are so imaginative and creative. Many times I would never think to buy something like that for myself. I love being exposed to new stuff — particularly clothing and sometimes jewelry.

“Oh, I don’t know if I can wear this. It’s out of my comfort zone.” Just go for the experience and don’t overthink it I tell myself.

I remember receiving my first regifted gift. I was a teenager at the time. It was a bottle of bubble bath from neighbors down the street.

I had to ask my mother who gave me this. I didn’t recognize the names on the card.

I bet there are some really good regifting stories out there. I would love to hear those. Let’s have some fun and put yours in Comments.

Bet, the Gift Giver

Bar none, my mother-in-law, Bet, was one of the all-time great gift givers. She enjoyed shopping and not on the internet — nothing against shopping the internet. It’s my go-to place.

She had a real talent for giving people something they genuinely liked with no desire to return it. She was so generous.

I’m not one to return a gift, except maybe for a shoe size and that’s extremely rare. If someone has decided on a gift they want me to have, then I want to have it.

It’s Interesting how many times I will end up using a gift years after it is given. Looking in the back of the closet one day, I spy bookends.

I wasn’t keen on them when they were given. “WoW, these bookends are so cool.” Now they’re sitting on our bookcase years later.

Of course, my favorite gifts from Bet are her watercolors and color-pencil drawings. She liked to give stationery. Perfect for me — I’m all about different types of paper products.

Bet’s Watercolors Notecard
Watercolors by Bet

I don’t remember her ever missing giving a Valentine’s Day gift — red hearts tea towel, small red strainer, an off-white heart-shaped metal piece with key and red ribbon, a red and white soufflé dish with red hearts scattered about. Sometimes chocolates, sometimes not.

Final Thoughts

The person who lets me in a lane of traffic ahead of them — a gift.

My therapist lending an ear to my issues for an hour even though I pay — she listens and shares her thinking — a gift.

The worker in the Fruit Department at the grocery who has made a custom yogurt parfait I have requested. She doesn’t wait for me to come back to pick it up — no, she finds me in the store and personally hands it to me — a thoughtful gift.

I guess I could say I live for gifts and random acts of kindness. They are something special and make our world go round. Imagine a world with no gifts.

How would we show love and kindness, besides hugs and kisses? It’s soothing living in this giving and receiving kind of world — can’t think of a better place to be. Love is the best gift ever!

Namaste 🙏

Example: Grab, Shoulder, Paper — Answer ”Bag.” Please feel free to leave a Comment with your answer or you can email or text. Answers will be in next blog post in case you miss it. There are two exercises here.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share your gift stories and your favorite random acts of kindness via Comment, text, or email.

6 comments

    1. Harriet, EXCELLENT, You are right. I could have never figured that out. You must have learned how to think like that in college. HaHa. Glad that you got a needed lift this morning. You are in my thoughts. Much ❤️

  1. I arrived at my Doctor’s office without an appointment. I had spent the weekend in extreme pain. I asked if there was any way they could fit me in. A gentleman overheard me and hopped up. He said, please give her my appointment. He was out the door as I was thanking him for his kindness. I was so grateful. I always will be.

    1. I love this story, Leah, Chalk one up for humankind —- a gift very much needed. I’ll remember him as well. Thank you for reading and very much appreciate the comment.

  2. Count me among the male gender who find something special about fresh flowers in the house. For years, on special occasions and on especially dull days, I have turned to the fool-proof way of celebrating the former and giving/getting a lift in spirits when needed. It is, indeed, a gift to experience that sudden but subtle mood transformation when new flowers are announced, as they are prepared for display, and for at least the first meal over which they preside. I can think of nothing which gives so much and asks so little in return.

    1. Beautiful, Jim. So eloquently expressed. Thanks to your comment, I won’t hesitate to give the gift of flowers to the male gender. Thank you for sharing the role flowers play in your life. Thank you for answering the question. It’s nice to know. ❤️

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