posted on December 14, 2016 by Jeanne Devlin

What Can a Present Tell You About Your Partner?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a schoolgirl with her first boyfriend or an adult married many, many years with a house of kids: We all read a lot into what our significant other does or does not slip under the Christmas tree, especially when it comes to the gift with our name on it.

Many a union has been tested by a vacuum or microwave proudly presented (especially when said appliance was not on their partner’s wish list).

Many a case of young love has blossomed into something more from a thoughtful unexpected gift given, especially one that says:  I know who you are, and I love that about you.

Through my life, I had always fared well on both the gifts I gave to sweethearts (though the guys may beg to differ) and to the ones I received. That is until college when the gift of an ink pen drove my boyfriend of nine months to deliver a long lecture on the ills of trying to buy a person’s love.  (It was a pen!  Not even that nice of one!)

That holiday debacle could have soured me on the romantic idea of sweethearts exchanging gifts, but what can I say: I’m a romantic at heart.

So for both beaus and those I love, I continue to buy, wrap, and give, hoping on my best days that I will give the gift that will show the recipient, if only for a moment, how highly I hold her or him in regard.  I have found this has little to do with the price tag and a lot to do with the thought that went into the gift.

And I encourage you to remember that this season as you go to buy presents.  We all just want to be seen and to be known by those we love.

And a gift, well chosen—be it a river rock from your first trip together or a love letter tucked into a favorite book—can do just that.

What is the best gift a sweetheart has ever given you?

—Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin is editor of The RoadRunner Press, an award-winning traditional publishing house based in the American West. An editor of newspapers, magazines, and books for more than thirty years, she has also worked on national marketing and publicity campaigns with such publishers as Simon and Schuster and St. Martin's and for a number of New York Times bestselling authors, including Robyn Carr, Sabrina Jeffries, Debbie Macomber, Linda Lael Miller, and Wendy Corsi Staub. A graduate of the Stanford University Publishing Course, Jeanne is a member of the Children's Book Council, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Oklahoma Center for the Book of the Library of Congress. She also consults with boutique publishers.

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