Don’t give gift certificates (except to Starbucks)
My wife loves cards. When we were dating, I’d frequently be the recipient of a lovely, love filled card which I would read and promptly discard, much to my wife’ consternation. She learned that cards aren’t really my thing.
You might find it interesting then that among my prized possessions are is a card.
Sid and Becky Mofya became more than friends during our time together at The Ocean International Community Church. When we left, Becky wrote me this amazing letter of how my teachings had impacted her life. But not some vague “You guys are awesome” note. Or “we’ll miss you and be friends forever.” No, Becky walked down memory lane recalling specific moments and teachings. That card was perhaps the nicest going away gift I received. Why? Because I pour my life into my weekly teachings and often wonder if anyone is listening or cares. Becky’s card validated a longing and recognized that effort.
Gift cards are a multibillion dollar industry. Mostly because many go unused or partially used, providing an amazing revenue stream. However, they are also lazy. A gift card to Amazon is pretty much a “buy yourself anything” card.
On a subtle level, the random gift card says “I care, but I can’t be bothered.” Remember the last thing you bought with a gift card? Me neither.
But that watch given to me by a lady in our church which had been her late son’s confirmation watch? That will travel with me to the grave. The first flannel Tahnya got me in college? Or the party she threw for me on my 25th birthday? The compliment, the place at the table opened up by my boss, the invitation to speak at my friend’s church, those are meaningful.
Gifts don’t have to be expensive, but they should be thoughtful. That’s why a gift card to Starbucks is meaningful to a coffee lover. To my mom, not so much. She hates coffee.
Giving meaningful gifts is a way to be part of many defining moments in our loved ones lives.
Sorry, Christmas just got harder. Bummer.
BTW, I love Bhphotovideo.com.