Power of the Gift

It’s coming up on the season of gift giving and thus the topic of this week’s blog. There are many types of gift giving, and some of the best cost no money. Giving someone the gift of your time is probably highest on the list: watching the grandkids so the kids can go have a romantic night out, spending an afternoon with an elderly friend, or taking a gal pal out for lunch or happy hour. They all work. Passing on a package of books that you’ve read and know a friend will enjoy, is another. Baking a cake, pie, or holiday bread, is a gift of love.

MP900439466[1]For the writers amongst us, I have this treasure on gifts. Laurie Hutzler www.etbscreenwriting.com a screenwriter from whom I took several online classes gets full credit, although I’m paraphrasing here, because I don’t remember the exact words:

 Every love story, buddy story, partnership story, is about the exchange of gifts: emotional, spiritual, or personality, and they come from the character’s strongest traits. The hero and heroine both have something of value to give the other. Focus your story around how the character dismisses the other’s gifts, then exchanges them, and ultimately is changed by them.

This past weekend I drove to Temecula, California, to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. The couple’s two daughters arranged the event.Marge&Kent'sLuncheon102514005

It was a delightful luncheon, at Bailey’s winery. This is a photo of a gate in their courtyard.

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On the invitation, Marge and Kent requested no gifts. At first it felt strange not to bring anything, so I found a funny card that I knew would tickle their fancy. Then I got to thinking, if you’ve been married for fifty years, what would you want as a gift? It certainly wouldn’t be another item to dust or polish. I’d have most likely given them a gift card. But no gift was the best, because I knew what they wanted was to celebrate their special moment with family, friends, old and new, and that the greatest gift we could give them was our time. I took a bunch of photographs and sent those on after the event, with my thank you. Here’s part of the happy group:

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In my family we keep gift giving fairly simple. What type of gift giver are you? Are you creative, a baker, knitter, or artist? As a gift receiver, what do you value?

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14 Responses to Power of the Gift

  1. Liz Flaherty says:

    I’m the biggest little kid around when it comes to gifts–I like getting them and I LOVE giving them. As I’ve aged–that comes up in every conversation, doesn’t it?–I’ve learned to give much more thought to what I give. I’m not always successful, but I try harder!

  2. robena grant says:

    Hi Liz. Yep I like gift giving too, but my problem is I never quite know what to give and then I can angst and window shop forever and a day. : )

  3. Sam Beck says:

    Just recently I’ve turned into the worst thing of all…a LATE giver! I have not one, but two belated b-day cards sitting beside my computer, waiting to be stuffed with guilt money and put in the mail. I officially suck.

    • robena grant says:

      We all get so busy, and when birthdays come within the holiday season, man that makes it difficult. The kids and I used to give each other a check for birthdays, until my son laughingly suggested we were just circulating the same $200. : )

  4. Gina B. says:

    I will definitely remember Laurie Hutzler’s ideas about gifts – love this. I have no artistic or baking skills, and I’m pretty terrible at finding things I think people will like, so thank goodness for gift certificates, especially for people who are far away! 🙂

    • robena grant says:

      Yes, Gina, I love that paragraph from Laurie. In fact I’m thinking about re-reading all of her Emotional Toolbox advice on writing. I’m with you on gifts. Gift cards are the best!

  5. I like to exercise my listening skills and squirrel away little things said that will make for good gifts later. For instance, my mom mentioned someone having an NCIS calendar and she loves that show. I’ve already looked and amazon has them!

    • robena grant says:

      Hey, Judy! glad you stopped by. Hope you’re doing great after your recent surgery. You sound like a thoughtful gift giver. I love that. I think I’m a worrier gift giver. Probably need to remove myself from the equation and focus on the recipient. ; )

  6. Marge says:

    You,my dear, had it exactly right. At this time in our lives the most important gift is that of time. When friends arrange their busy schedules to spend their precious time with us there can be no more perfect gift. Time is something that cannot be replaced, can’t buy more of it, can’t order it on line. Thanks for sharing your time with us Sat. Hugs, Marge

    • robena grant says:

      Awww, Marge, I’m so glad you came by the blog. I adore what you’ve said about time here, especially, “you can’t buy it on line.” I had a lovely time, the food was fabulous, the setting perfect, and the conversations interesting. You can’t ask for more than that. : )

  7. I used to be a creative gift giver. When we had no money, no jobs, no kids and nothing but time I made things.
    Now. . it depends. It’s so easy just to give gift cards. I always give my sister a box of books I’ve read. That’s her favorite gift. This year I am giving myself the best gift of all. I am going to Michigan to spend time with my almost three year old granddaughter.

    • robena grant says:

      I grew up dirt poor, Susan. We learned to create gifts, then I began making some money and gifts got fancier. Being divorced for twenty years, and now retired, I’m moving closer to my roots. ; )
      Hope your time with your granddaughter is filled with wonder.

  8. Julie says:

    This is a challenging one for me, money has always been tight, so gifts are small and spare (with the sad pang of wishing they could be more). Cash is usually the thing that fits best for most of us.

    But I love the idea that we exchange gifts in our relationships!

  9. robena grant says:

    I love what you’ve said here, Julie. Even when money is tight, the celebration, the small gift is more than enough. It’s the chance to get together and honor the other person even if it’s with a simple meal, a box cake, or a card and a hug.