How do you assess the value of a gift you receive?
I ask because I recently examined a gift that I received for my birthday a few months ago and was floored by what I discovered. Let me explain what I’m talking about.
A while back, one of my many “little brothers” that I’ve collected over the years–I make them sound like little collectibles, huh? LOL–gave me a birthday gift when he visited my family in California while on business. All I heard from my younger sister and him was that he had truly debated long and hard before deciding on the gift pictured to the left of this post. At the time, I didn’t really believe them. My little brother tends to exaggerate sometimes, and I just couldn’t image him spending so much time in a strictly woman’s environment. Add to that the fact that he hates shopping, and I wasn’t buying his story.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still a newbie when it comes to skincare and beauty products–despite all that I’ve learned this past year–so I didn’t know much about SK-II other than that a great number of my mother’s Korean friends love the skincare line. Perhaps that’s why I naturally and erroneously assumed this was a Korean skincare brand that he had brought with him from Korea. Even when he told me that he purchased the gift here in the States, I didn’t think much about it other than the fact that my little brother had taken himself out of his comfort zone and gone shopping for me…and for a skincare product no less! Can you all imagine a 6 feet plus man in a woman’s cosmetics store asking about this and that product? Heh heh.
At the time, I thank him for his thoughtfulness but didn’t really think much about what he had purchased. I certainly couldn’t believe that he debated long and hard over the gift as he had claimed.
Well, I took a quick break from grading Sunday night to make an online purchase with Sephora, a beauty company I patron, and spotting my still new package of the SK-II facial lift emulsion by my desk, I decided to see if Sephora carried it so that I could read some reviews on the product.
Here’s what I learned about this particular birthday gift:
1. It is NOT a Korean brand but rather a Japanese brand…and one that is highly regarded. I’m sure many of you already knew that, huh?
2. It was not just a thoughtful gift but also a rather expensive gift. Talk about generous!
Once I learned these two things, I found myself reassessing the gift. Strangely enough, the idea of my little brother in that cosmetics shop took on a different meaning. You see, he has been going through some very difficult times, and the image of him taking the time to get me such a generous gift made his gesture that much more endearing. He hadn’t simply picked up a random skincare product for me after all; he had, indeed, debated long and hard over what gift to get me while he was here in the States.
I know that we’re taught from a young age to value the sentiments behind the gift more than the gift itself, but sometimes those lessons are temporarily forgotten in the hustle and bustle of adult life and the jadedness that oftentimes comes with our culture. It’s sad for me to admit that I didn’t truly appreciate what my little brother had gone through until I actually realized the “worth” of his gift.
This recent epiphany was made all the more relevant when I received two care packages from a YouTube subscriber and our very own shl…yes, all the way from Singapore! 🙂 You can check out their gifts to me here.
These two women underscored for me the lesson my parents taught me: It’s not the actual gift that is important but the heart behind those gifts. The gifts these two women showered upon me yesterday embody this lesson so aptly. These gifts represent the new friendships that I’ve been blessed with this past year through YouTube and this blog and how God has continued to bless me by surrounding me with such incredible women. They took the time and care to prepare these gifts for me.
You twinkles are always thanking me on this post for the various things I do, but you have no idea how much inspiration and encouragement I receive from all the comments you leave and the number of times you visit this blog. Yes, on my breaks, I like to check who has dropped by to read and/or comment. As a woman trained professionally to value the written word, I’ve found your words of encouragement and kindness to be incredible gifts, indeed.
As we near the actual day of gift-giving for those of you who observe Christmas, I hope that the sentiments behind each and every gift are not overshadowed by the outward appearance or “worth” of the gift itself. Rather, I hope we all remember that the gift is only the representation of the giver’s heart.
And since I can’t very well send you all gifts to represent my heart, I leave you with the only gifts I can give you–my words: From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. I thank you for the gifts you always give me through your words. They are, indeed, priceless!