The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

December 18, 2013

It's the present that counts

This classic column was originally published Dec. 23, 2000.

Now that I have enough money to buy Christmas presents, it seems as if it ought to be easier than it was when I didn’t have enough. But it isn’t. It turns out money doesn’t have much to do with it. I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas presents lately:

If you see a cheap present that’s just right for someone except it doesn’t cost enough, buy it and give it to her anyway. I say “her” because I bought a cheap present for Margie. I wish I could have found one that cost more, but I couldn’t. I hope she won’t be disappointed over how little I spent.

Even though a cheap present can be good, generally speaking, expensive presents are better. One of the most unfair facts of life is that expensive things are usually better than inexpensive ones.

They say it’s the thought that counts but that’s not true. It’s the present that counts.

If I see something that I think someone would love to have but I don’t like it, I don’t buy it. You have to find something you think the person will like, but it should be something you like, too. Don’t give presents you don’t like, no matter how much you think someone else might like them.

A gift certificate is not a Christmas present. People who give gift certificates do not understand Christmas. They’re taking the easy way out. Gift certificates may be practical, but practical has nothing to do with Christmas.

Some people are easy to give Christmas presents to and others are hard. There are friends and family members who always like what I give them and others who always take my gifts back.

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