I might do another post someday about gifts, but for now I’ll say that my favorite kind to give or receive is the kind that “fits.” Something that the recipient can use or enjoy.Some gifts, I’ve noticed, are just given because it’s the way the giver expresses s/he values the recipient (I’m thinking here of the sometimes-useless wedding gifts every couple must decide what to do with).
There is a quote (in a slightly different context) in the book I read for Sunday school some months back. It was said to be an old Chinese proverb:
“Nothing can atone for the insult of a gift except for the love of the person who gives it.”
The author’s point is that the gift represents a need of the recipient, and insults by implying he or she can’t meet that need alone.
Especially in terms of the weird/useless gift category this proverb means something else to me: The love of the giver adds value to a gift that otherwise has none. Picture the wilting bundle of dandelions, their hollow stems half-crushed by excited little hands, being put in a vase on the table. Its whole value comes from
“the love of the person who gives it.”