It’s Not Really the Thought That Counts
Listen, folks, if there’s one piece of advice I could give to people when buying gifts (not including the dozen or so I’ve given so far), it would be this: spend more than $30 on an alarm clock.
“But Dr. Matt,” you say. “I’m not buying anyone an alarm clock.”
Well, take it as a metaphor then, if you must. And I wish you wouldn’t. Because I hate metaphors.
An alarm clock, for some reason, has to be of a certain value to be of any value at all. Now, I spent something like $80 on the piece of crap alarm clock I currently have, so you might be asking why I don’t say to spend over $80 on an alarm clock. Well, I figure this is a $20 clock marked up to $80, and I’m hoping you won’t shop for yours at The Source by Circuit City like I did.
Seriously, how hard is it for electronics manufacturers to make an alarm clock that works consistently and reliably? After years and years of trying to just get a simple alarm clock that works, I’ve concluded that my price point is just too low. Because I would hate to think that manufacturers are in the business of selling crap electronics, in general.
In metaphorical terms which you insisted on having, a gift should not simply “address” you needs, it should excel them. And, the “time-setting buttons” on your gift should not fail after less than a year, making you want to “smash” your “alarm clock” against the “wall.”
If your son wants an iPod, don’t buy him a Creative Zen because it’s cheaper and you think, “Oh well, an internet audio tube player is an internet audio tube player.” (I believe these are called Empea Threes.) If you’re going to get a gift, get a gift of value, or don’t bother. A token gift is just a well-meaning piece of junk.
That doesn’t mean your gift has to have a high price point. I’ve received many gifts of great value that didn’t “cost” anything, except maybe that person’s pride and perhaps their innocence. Most of these gifts came after I became famous, but I’m sure you have received those kinds of gifts.
Also note that I’m including gifts from you to yourself as a place where you don’t want to skimp on the value of your gifts. I figured, “Oh, I don’t need a shnazzy alarm clock.” But apparently, because even $80 clocks are manufactured using leftover VHS parts, I did, in fact, need some shnazziness. Now, I’m in a pickle. Spend another $80? Why didn’t I just spend $200 to begin with for one of those fancy alarm clocks that sounds like a big stereo?
“Oh, Dr. Matt. I’m sure you mean well, but I don’t need to return my gifts quickly to the store and get quality replacements. It’s the thought that counts.”
Okay. Just remember, when you see those looks of disappointment on your children’s faces when your gift fails to please them three months from now, or even when the light of hope vanishes from their eyes when they tear open the packaging, I think you’ll rethink your thoughts and how much counting they do.
Just My Thoughts,
*Dr. Matt is not a real doctor.