a wonderful gift
The spirit of gifts has become distorted from being a willing representation of appreciation into an obligation of choosing an item from a wish list; or worse, giving a gift card to some big box store to be used at their own convenience. Impersonal and too convenient. Gift giving is not acting as a financial benefactor for someone. Sure, it's nice for someone to spend money on you, but anyone could.
"A good artist gives the people what they want, but a great artist gives people what they need."
What is a gift? It's something that is given out of want, not obligation, to a person of importance, serving as a physical manifestation of your affection for them. Gift giving is tedious, annoying, and cryptic; however, ultimately rewarding. It shows that you care and listen; a symbol of what your relationship together means to you.
Having lists and using gift cards as a go to, while accessible, debases the spirit of giving gifts. No one should ever have to tell you what they want, you're "told" by being around that person. It will bleed into you. Everyone already knows what they want, and giving it to them is rather impersonal. Choosing things from a list makes simplifies your relationship to a financial commitment, foregoing any personality.
However, taking thought and time to search out a particular thing, item, or experience that they would really enjoy conveys a personal intimacy only gained through knowledge of that person. Finding the perfect physical manifestation of your knowledge and appreciation of a person is the true essence of a gift. This is the gift in and of itself; the actual thought that goes into it.
"It's the thought that counts." A rather cliché phrase. However, thought and care, above all else, is what truly defines a gift.
It's the thought that counts.