We love the saying, "It's the thought that counts." That means that a gift we give or an action that we do is only a reflection of the feeling we had behind the gift or act.
But I've also heard things like, "I wanted to get you a present....to help you with ....to bring you...but I couldn't, but then again, it's the thought that counts." Let's be truthful. Sometimes it's true, and sometimes that's just a big excuse. I could give a million examples, but let's leave it. :)
Especially now when the holidays are just about upon us, and everyone is worrying about what he'll give and what he'll receive, it's a good time to contemplate gift giving.
Sometimes it really is the gift that counts.
This afternoon my granddaughter came for Shabbat. We've been planning this for a few weeks, and both she and I were excited.
She handed me a gift, although, truthfully, her presence was my present. It was a plastic bag with a friendly sticker on it. Inside were a dozen "candies", wrapped carefully. She's six, and she doesn't have any money to spend for a gift, but she wanted to give me something special. So, over the past few weeks, every time she or a friend had a candy, she saved the wrapper. When her collection grew, she put a small pebble inside each wrapper and closed it up just like a candy. That would be a nice decoration for my table or counter. But I brought it downstairs to my office instead, and put it right above my desk with my precious things. And now when I look up, I can see the plastic bag with the "candies" that were a gift, filled with my granddaughter's love.