Christmas and birthdays and Easter oh my. I grew up with each of these (and more) occasions requiring a crazy amount of “stuff”. They all entailed a crazy amount of present receiving. As a kid, presents are (or seem) awesome. As we get older, we often find joy in the simpler things. A nice pair of socks, a new tool set, or something that is really useful. The older I get the more I understand what makes for the best presents.
“The best presents is presence.” –The Minimalists
I felt the quote above, and I have for some time. I’ve never heard it put quite so nicely or simply. I believe it’s true. The best presents involve presence.
Every year for my birthday, as long as I can remember, I’ve asked for a couple of things. Dinner, and preferably a nice home cooked meal. Second is to spend some time with my family. It could be playing board games, watching a movie, or other. I don’t care much for physical gifts anymore. The other things show love way more, in my opinion. Unfortunately, most people find satisfaction with giving me a thing.
In fact, I think that physical gifts are the easy way out. Physical gifts allow us to “show love” by spending a little (or a lot of) money. Physical gifts provide an opportunity to buy another persons affection. It’s not that physical gifts are all evil or bad, but I find way more value in a person’s time and energy. I believe this holds true because those assets are way more valuable than money.
I find, more and more, that we give gifts out of necessity and not necessarily out of love. “Well I had to get you something.” I don’t want something because you felt obligated. I wanted something because you wanted to get me something.
But, then again, I don’t want much anyways. Maybe cook a meal? Let’s do dinner? How about a chat over coffee?
“The best presents is presence.”