I had a nagging feeling Sunday morning that the memory jar I created for my Mom was just not enough. I did not spend a penny on the gift, though it did take me about an hour to assemble it and make a card. I even hid the present from my older sister, who gives really good gifts, because I was ashamed. My Mom deserves more, I thought.
Why is money so important when it comes to gifts?
I think it’s a combination of being taught and trained over the years that gifts are something you buy for another person. This message is reinforced by ads, marketing, and commercials. The gift of time or thoughtfulness is “just being nice.”
To hedge my bets, I woke up early on Mother’s Day and filled my Mom’s gas tank. When I told her she smiled and said thank you. I could tell she appreciated the gift, but it wasn’t something she would remember.
Later in the day I gave her the memory jar and my card. When she saw it she started to cry. “It was so nice of you to remember,” she said. And I know she will remember it.
As my Mom pulled out the slips of paper, she shared stories about the memories my siblings and I had put in the jar. We ended up talking about the important role music played (no pun intended) in our family’s life and decided to go hear live blues harmonica that night!
I felt much better about my gift after my Mom opened it and liked it. But I still have not completely accepted that my time and thoughtfulness are valuable gifts. What’s your philosophy towards gifts? How do you think I should get over my gift conundrum?
Saying no to gift gifing – one reader’s journey on a gift moratorium
Gift finder for every personality – a helpful Web site
Anything but scissors for my birthday – a woman’s plea for a decent gift from her husband