Just Because

5 Jul 2023

Yesterday, I made my brother very happy: I gave him a gift.

Our church had an art exhibition and, the moment I saw this painting, a still life with onions, I knew my brother would love it. My brother is an onion farmer and is passionate about his onions. Rightly so – they are very fine onions!

I bought the painting. Yesterday, I collected it from the church and took it straight up to the farm to give to my brother. I couldn’t wait to see his face.

His delight was all I could have asked for.

I didn’t wait for his birthday or for Christmas; this was a “I saw this and thought of you” gift – a simple “I love you.”

Gifts can so often be fraught with stress, when we don’t know what to get for people – especially those difficult people, like me, who don’t drink and don’t eat chocolate and are really fussy about their jewellery and other accessories. Hint – I really like scented soaps, so I’m not absolutely impossible to buy for!

My closest friends and I have a rule, that we give gifts when we find the perfect thing, so our birthday gifts may be six months late. With most of the family we have agreed not to give gifts at Christmas; it’s just too difficult.

For some people, however, the giving and receiving of gifts is one of their love languages.

In case you haven’t met the concept of love languages before, these are words, touch, deeds, time and gifts.

I love to receive words of appreciation, not just I love yous, but thank yous and praise. My husband’s main language of love is deeds. I do nice things for him, like make his lunchtime sandwich, or iron all his shirts and handkerchiefs, and he says thank you. That works well for us.

My mother’s main language, however, is gifts. She never arrives empty handed, and you can never come away from a visit without receiving some kind of gift. She loves to give.

Unwanted gifts can be a problem. What do we do with them? Sometimes we feel we must keep them, because the giver will be so hurt if we don’t. But a real gift is one given without strings. Someone once told me that the real gift is the love given and the thing itself is just the wrapping for that love. Just as with the wrapping paper, it is fine to dispose of the gift, but to keep the love it contained.

I know my brother will never part with his onion picture, but, if he did, then that would be okay. It was given with love, and I know he appreciated that love and me thinking of him.

What do gifts mean to you? Are you easy or hard to give to? Do gifts bring you pleasure or happiness? And are you able to give gifts without any strings attached other than love?


A Moodscope member

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