As each holiday season rolls around, people start talking about gifts as expressions of love. To some extent, yes, you should try to buy thoughtful gifts for the people you love. I think choosing gifts carefully shows that you really know the person and their interests. However, I start to get stabby when I hear people, especially parents and spouses, explaining that they have to buy a really expensive gift in order to show love.

Gifts Do Not Equal Love
Gifts are certainly an expression of your feelings for a person, but an expensive gift does not automatically mean you love the person more. It means you bought an expensive gift. For several years, my husband and I didn’t exchange gifts at all. I didn’t feel unloved. I also didn’t feel more loved the year he bought me a $200 iPod. I felt loved because he got me exactly what I’d asked for, and managed to keep it a secret so it would be surprise. He knows I like to be surprised by my presents.

Diamonds Do Not Equal Love
Every holiday season you’re guaranteed to see almost daily commercials declaring that this year’s trendy diamond necklace is the only way to show your wife you love her. Poppycock! If your wife has always wanted a diamond necklace and you can afford it and you choose one specific to her style, then yes, it’s a great way to show that you care. But defaulting to the journey pendant or the heart pendant or whatever pendant was in the commercial is not the same as putting thought into a gift.

Cheap Can Equal Love
I’ve shared this story before, but the best gift I ever got my husband cost one cent. I’m pretty sure it had been closed out and the store didn’t realize they still had any copies of the computer game on hand. Nevertheless, the clerk insisted on selling it to me at the price it rang up. I felt so guilty about only spending a penny on my husband that I went and bought him another game. He still plays the first game six years later and hasn’t played the second game a single time. So, it really doesn’t matter what you spend if the gift you choose is perfect for the person receiving it.

Thought Equals Love
So, please, as we edge into the holiday season, try to remember that the gift is a reflection of your love for the recipient, it isn’t actually love. It doesn’t matter what it costs as long as it’s something you choose carefully and know the recipient will love. Even if it only costs a penny, choosing the right gift is the best way to show your love. Frankly, if you order a bunch of gifts without thought, but they cost a lot, that’s a sign that you don’t care enough to make an effort. That speaks volumes.


2 Responses to “That Makes Me Stabby: Gifts=Love”

  1. C Dunkley on October 10th, 2009 12:05 pm

    I love this post. I wish more people felt like this. One of my very favourite presents was a picnic basket my Mum made, she got the basket from a charity shop, and outfitted it with lovely lilac fabric. It was a complete surprise, and obviously a lot of effort rather than expense had gone into it.

    Hurray for thoughtful gifts!

  2. Yes, I Am Cheap on October 12th, 2009 11:19 pm

    Festival of Frugality #199 – Damn, No Bonus Edition…

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