It’s only a few days away from Christmas and I’m sure many people still have to buy the presents. I think people can be divided in two categories when it comes to buy gifts. There’re those who plan ahead and usually manage to buy great gifts and those who improvise, often ending up buying presents at random, because “it’s the thought that counts”.
As a person with a looong experience in receiving ugly presents, clearly bought without even thinking of me and what I like, I came to the conclusion that “it’s the thought that counts” is one of the most misconceived concepts of all time (together with “true beauty comes from within”). It indicates that “it is the kindness behind an act that matters, however imperfect or insignificant the act may be” (source: Oxford Dictionaries). So, many people think that just buying a present is enough, because they thought of you and you should be grateful. I couldn’t disagree more.
“It’s the thought that counts” actually means that somebody bought you a present thinking about you and what you like, that’s the meaning of thought! For example, I love tin boxes and even the tiniest one is an appreciated gift, whether it’s expensive or it costs 1€. I don’t drink tea so you could buy me a stock of Da Hong Pao tea and you wouldn’t make me happy. But… I will probably sell it on eBay and then buy me the right Christmas gift 😉 because I’m totally in favor of re-gifting or getting rid of a certain type of unwanted presents.
So, before buying a present, think about the person who will receive it, because that’s the actual meaning of “thought”, not that you just thought of buying whatever you felt could be a passable present. Also, when somebody receives a present he/she feels kind of obliged to reciprocate and feeling like you have to return a present is bothering, even more when it’s unwanted.
If you know a person enough, I’m sure you’ll find the right present, just think about what he/she loves. Does this person like to read, to cook, to do sport? Don’t think about yourself, a present should represent you but please who will receive it.
Preview image from Tumblr.