Life is about giving, not getting

Life is about giving, not getting. A personal gift from my 22-year-old grandson prompted this article.
He was so excited for me to see his gift that he opened my Gucci gift box. With great care and attention, he walked me through the importance of owning an item made of Gucci fabric. From the box, he took the scarf and wrapped it around my neck and insisted I model it. He wanted to feast his eyes on his gift.
At his coaching, I held the Gucci scarf up to the light and traced the woven threads in the form of the initial G. I smelled the wonderful Gucci scent and removed the hand-written card from the fold of the scarf.
The message read, “I love you so much, Grandma. You are the most wonderful lady I know.”
The sentiment would have been enough for me for a lifetime, but the scarf was about me experiencing what was important to him.
My grandson bought the scarf for me and, according to his mother, he struggled. He wanted it for himself. He laid down his own wants and gave me “his scarf.” It was more than spending his whole paycheck. It defined his desires and what he wanted.
It reminded me of a short story by O. Henry, first published in 1905. The story told of a young husband and wife buying gifts for each other with very little money. The plot had a twist.
With only $1.87 in hand, desperate to find a gift for Jim, Della cut her long beautiful hair and sold it to a nearby hairdresser for $20. She bought a $21 platinum fob for his pocket watch. The perfect gift for Jim.
Waiting for Jim to come home, Della sat at a table near the door. She prayed that Jim would still think she was pretty. Unusually late, Jim walked in and stopped short at the sight of Della.
Jim gave Della her present, an assortment of combs, useless now that her hair was short. He unwrapped the chain for his pocket watch, which he had sold to purchase the ornamental combs.
Although they were left with gifts that neither one could use they realized how far they were willing to go to show their love for each other.
This year, I knew I needed to do it. I looked at the Gucci scarf and tried it on one more time. I admired the workmanship. Then I wrapped it in fine paper. I didn’t want to give it away. I had never owned a Gucci scarf.
My grandson opened my gift on Christmas. He tied the scarf around his neck and wore it the rest of the day. He was elated. His designer scarf had returned.
Final brushstroke: Sometimes showing our love to someone requires us to give up something we ourselves cherish.
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This story was posted on January 13, 2019.