By Jeff Kennedy
Is an expensive gift more valuable than an inexpensive one?
When you are considering a gift, what do you settle for—an expensive gift or something special that conveys a message? Does the price of the gift really matter? The thing to remember is that gifts are meant to convey a message that you care. They need not be expensive, but they need to be special. There’s nothing wrong with an expensive gift, but what is much more important is a demonstration of affection and care. As Shakespeare says in Hamlet, “Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.” An expensive gift can become “poor” and an inexpensive gift can become “rich” depending on the way you give it. So, it is the message that you convey rather than the value of the gift that matters more.
What happens to expensive gifts
Let’s look first at what happens when you present an expensive gift. In these days of affluence and consumerism, most people have almost all the things they need. Unless you are thinking of something like jewelry, there’s a good chance that the item you gift is already available to the person to whom you are giving it. In that case your item, if given, may not be used at all.
When you gift an expensive item, the focus is more on the item than on the act. In addition, if the expensive item that you give is not to the taste of the person receiving it, both of you are going to be disappointed. So whichever way you look at it, it’s not the price of the gift, but its utility to the person and the spirit in which it is given that are more important. That seems to clearly show that the value of the gift itself is secondary. A bunch of flowers, a kiss on the cheek or even a good word may bring more happiness to the person than an expensive gift.
A thoughtful gift can be richer than an expensive one
A gift that helps someone really needy and aids a charitable cause may often come with exotic handmade items that are made in far off places. That might be a comparatively inexpensive gift, but it does a lot of things, especially if the gift is intended for children. It shows the value of caring for others. And it adds a certain novelty to the exercise.
A place for expensive gifts
We must remember that there are occasions when an expensive gift is appropriate. There are certain special occasions when the gift of something that is really needed, though perhaps expensive, can make a big change in the life of the person receiving it. And such a gift can sometimes show care and concern. If you look closely, you will notice that even in these cases, the expensiveness of the item is incidental. What really matters is that you have recognized a need and are trying to fulfill it.
Can you “say it” with inexpensive gifts?
The next question that arises is whether you can “say it” with inexpensive gifts. The answer to that question in most cases is an emphatic “yes”. Not only can you say what you want to say through an inexpensive gift, you can also fail to say it through an expensive gift. Think of that for a moment. Look at the quote from Shakespeare at the end of the first paragraph. You will see that an inexpensive gift can convey the message as well as an expensive one can. It’s the spirit in which you give, and not what you give that really matters.
Considerations while selecting a gift
Here are a few things to consider when you select a gift.
Does the person really need this gift?
Will he or she value and cherish it?
Does it bring forth fond memories, a feeling of bonding or togetherness?
Does it say, “I love you, and I care”?
The answers to these questions are far more important than how expensive the gift is. If it weren’t so, neither the giver nor the receiver deserves the gift.