Musing for Today: Value of a Gift

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!

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Snoopy's Twinkie

Created Musings back in 2010 when viewers were frantically searching for SungKyunKwan Scandal recaps. She currently blogs and comments from the US. You can also find her on FB (@SnoopysTwinkie), twitter (@twinkiedramas), and YouTube (Twinkiedramas).

16 thoughts on “Musing for Today: Value of a Gift”

  1. I have a hard time fighting the worth of a present that my mother taught me, which was price. I find it matters to me more when buying gifts however, I always have to make sure everyone has the same amount of money spent on them because I’m worried they’ll think that I like one of them more than the other. I don’t know why this is such a worry of mine since it doesn’t matter to me what the apparent price of the gifts I receive, or when a friend doesn’t get me anything at all because I know that they have no money and I love them anyways. It seems almost insulting that I would think them all so petty, even though I’m sure they don’t even notice. Once in awhile I’ll find myself getting carried away with buying gifts for one person because for some reason everything I see just seems perfect for them that year, (that happened this year with Niema actually, tee hee,) and I love when I buy or make a present for someone like this where I think they’ll actually like receiving it, instead of just trying to meet a demand (ex: I’ve set each person to get $20 worth of stuff, which usually ends up in a lot of unthoughtful gift cards :/.)

    1. I totally agree with you, but I do this with my church youth kids on their birthdays. As my church is small, I try to prepare a cake and small gift for each of them around their birthdays, and this “price” issue is always an issue for me. :p I don’t want any of the teenagers to feel as though they are less loved. *exasperated sigh* It’s not likely they would compare their gifts from me and feel less/more loved, right? LOL

  2. My family also taught me that what is important is the intention/sentiment behind the gift but in this highly materialistic world I tend to forget this…thanks for making me remember this!!!

  3. *cries*

    That was so touching TT^TT your little brother is also amazing. my brothers would never think about me like that (heck, they dont even make me soup when Im sick lol but they’re “young” so I’ll let it go. I take care of myself pretty well anyways. No harm done hahaha).

    I didn’t think about sending you a gift….

    Well now I gotta save up some more money and fix something up for you! I am the master of skin care. Master. I already have several ideas 😉 I hope ur skin isn’t sensitive o.o well mine is, so I guess whatever I okay will be good for you also lol hmmm let’s see…*wanders off into her own little world*

    1. Aw…You are so sweet! But seriously, Wol, there’s no need. I want you to spend your hard-earned money on your family and close friends over there in Ohio. I’m still impressed that you work while you’re in high school and still manage solid grades. Makes the teacher in me proud. 🙂
      In Korean, there’s a saying: Let’s just say it’s already been done. Does that make sense? In our case, let’s just case I’ve already received a thoughtful gift from you just by your suggestion. 😉
      Good luck with the remaining week or two of school this 2012 year!

  4. Thank you for this post!

    There used to be a time where buying gifts became a burden for me. I’ve been hanging out with my closed friends since my high school years and we are a really tight knitted group. The same faces pop up at every birthday parties, and to make it fair for everyone, we try to spend the same amount of money for the gifts. It feels as if I always have to fit my thoughts to a monetary value, which I didn’t like. Now that we’re older and have more money, it is less of a concern. I like it that way, because a handmade gift or “cheaper” one can have as much, if not more, value than a more expensive one. I like to gift things that demonstrate that I’ve thought about the receiver while buying/making it. It can refer to something that we’ve experienced together or an element that linked us as friends. My best friends once gave me a replica of the “Alfred” bear from Goong. They went those “build a bear” place, chose some clothing for it, had a passport done for the bear, etc. It was such a sweet gift because it refers to that one special summer when we were taking summer classes together. At the time, we were mere high school acquaintances. We then had a random discussion about Goong and something special happened. Ever since, we’re like sisters. That gift was really meaningful for me, because I knew that they bought it while thinking about what had linked us at first.

    I’ve become too wordy once again! Have a nice day!

  5. This was very heartwarming to read! I can’t thank you and Jules enough for the giveaways and how you both take the time to write recaps and interesting posts. Thank you! 🙂

  6. It’s honestly nice to know I’m not the only one that feels a certain way about gift giving. When I receive a gift I feel really thankful that person thought of me. The issue is when I give gifts. I also don’t want someone to feel that I love them less if they get something that costs more. I never really thought of it as seeing the other person as shallow or whatnot. I always just thought I should DO more for my friends. They’ve been there for us a lot during hard times (and we’ve had enough of them this year, let me tell ya). I just want to show them I care and I feel sad when I just don’t have any money to do that. ….. And Niema is tearing up. Honestly really glad I was able to talk about this. It makes me feel a lot better knowing that there are people out there that feel somewhat the same and to get a swift kick in the butt to remember that a gift’s value is the heart behind it. Thank you ST, my fellow Twinkles, and my dear Shirlyn.

    1. I need to proofread what I type. “I also don’t want someone to feel that I love them less if they get something that costs LESS.”

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