How to make me think about you often.

coffee maker and coffee

If you buy a coffee for me, I will talk with you as I drink it.  If you buy a pound of coffee for me, I will think about you every time I drink that coffee. If I have to grind it, I will think about you while I grind it and then while I drink it. If you buy tea for me, I will think about you when I take the bag out of the storage container. And if there are 250 bag in the box you send, then there will be a lot of reminders. If you buy me a coffee maker, you will cross my mind several times a day. I will think of your generosity and the reminder that you were listening when we talked about having an ineffective one. If you buy a mug for me, when I look for a mug in the cupboard, I will choose that mug as a reminder of you. And I will do that several times a day.

Coffee and tea and coffeemakers and mugs are mundane. They are almost commodities, though some brands will work very hard to make us think that they are special.  For me, however, they are elements of my daily life. And gifts that reflect a knowledge of me at that level matter to me.

In fact, those kinds of gifts matter more than engraved plaques. The latter reflects the ability of an industry to train us in believing that our name on a piece of wood reflects significance.  A gift of coffee tells me that you know me.

Of course, it could be a gift card for a restaurant you know that Nancy likes, because then you give me the gift of conversation with my wife. It could be a package of the razors I use because I use each one for a week and a package of ten will mean that for almost three months every morning you might be at the top of my mind.

After I’ve had my coffee, of course.

I’m not looking for coffee or razors, by the way. (Though I did forget mine in a hotel in Detroit, the one I’ve had for 20 years). What I am offering is a suggestion for Christmas. For the next two months, watch what the people you love do every day. Look for the things that are part of what they really need. And then, when you make your gift list, you may end up in the grocery store rather than “Things Remembered.”

But they might actually think of you every day in the New Year. And smile.

(Gift stories courtesy of Becky, Chris, Chris, Rob, Kat, Megin, Hope, Nancy, Diane, Sue (Timmy’s!), Paul and Lisa, my mother (for teaching me the social value of coffee), and countless other friends in our cupboard and on the filing cabinet).


8 responses to “How to make me think about you often.

  1. Thanks for that post! It made me think – I’ve received coffee before that I have to grind and it’s true – I think of that person regularly.

  2. Which is why I think of you and Nancy whenever I have my Trader Joe’s green tea. 🙂

  3. Or you could buy a hat from NicKicks and pray for a young man who is fighting leukemia and is excited about things like going to speech class for one day during his sophomore year or telling people how incredible it is that John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16 are so similar…just saying.

  4. After the fire, people gave a lot of things to us. So, now I think of Julie when I use the red towels, Aunt Sharon when I use the big frypan, our neighbor’s daughter when I read my devotional, Uncle Jim when I notice the dishes, the people from Uncle Jim’s church when I use our laundry baskets (I can’t remember all the stuff that was in those baskets), Bev when I put my silverware away, Joe’s Sunday school teachers when I hang my fall door decoration, Lisa when I wear her shirts and sweaters… I’ve always attached the people with the gifts, but now it’s kind of crazy. In a good way, I think, as it reminds me of the people who came to help us.

  5. that would be a great thing to do. What’s the link?

  6. that is a perfect example, Caryn. You lost one set of stories in the fire. You got a whole new set.

  7. Great idea for a lasting, meaningful and relatively budget friendly gift! A great example of how to keep the season of spending in check and let it be more a season of remembering the one who gave the greatest gift of all.
    Blessings – for an inspiring post – and just because.

  8. Beautifully put, and a challenge I’m going to keep in mind this Christmas.

    And here’s my personal experience: I received a set of knives from a couple I lived with while interning at a church one summer. They are two of the most generous, welcoming people I’ve ever known, and I think of them every time I cook a meal or host friends for dinner. Gus and Mary’s hospitality has transformed me–and I’m reminded of their grace and love daily.

    All because of a set of knives.