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My hubby Rob had a birthday on Monday this week. Birthdays are fairly low-key in our house, and it wasn’t a major milestone, so we didn’t have big things planned. I cooked a pork roast (with a lime marmalade/sweet chili glaze – yum!) and because I was at work that day, I sent my son to buy a birthday cake. There was a slight hiccup with that plan, as when he got to the patisserie he found the cash I’d given him wasn’t sufficient (when did cakes get so expensive?), but all’s well that ends well, he found something at the supermarket instead and we enjoyed a quiet family dinner followed by chocolate cheescake dessert. As we were struggling to finish our generous serves of cheesecake, Rob’s brother Pete rang to wish him a happy birthday. He lives nearly 2 hours north of us, so we don’t see him often, but he said he would be heading past our place the next day on his way down the south coast for work, and could he drop in? Rob works from home on Tuesdays, so that was fine.

Pete arrived the next afternoon with a gift bag. Inside was the most thoughtful gift. You see, Rob has been fascinated with the planes of WWII – and in particular the Spitfire – since he was a little tacker. He loves to read about them, follows Spitfire blogs, and leaps at any chance to go see one in person. On a number of occasions, he has made a 9 hour round trip to Temora in a day, to attend an airshow featuring Spitfires, Hurricanes and other WWII era planes. When we were in New Zealand in January, we made a special trip to a workshop where some people are re-creating Mosquitos – the legendary wooden bombers that made such a difference to the air war in Europe. We also visited a couple of aviation museums. You could say Rob is a Spitfire nut.

So, you can imagine how much he liked his present from Pete – a collection of Spitfire-related items he had found on a trip to Darwin a few weeks ago. There was a foam “Power Prop Flying Glider” Spitfire, a Spitfire shaped pencil sharpener, a Rubber-band Powered Build-it-yourself Spitfire model plane and a book about the use of Spitfires against the Japanese threat to Darwin during WWII. It was so thoughtful of Pete, knowing they would be just the sort of thing Rob would like!

It made me think about the saying that “It’s the thought that counts”. Although some people use that phrase to mean, “Even though I didn’t get you a gift, I thought of it, and that’s what counts!”, we all know that it really means it’s not the dollar value of a gift but the thoughtfulness that went into choosing it that matters. It’s knowing that the gift giver was thinking of, and wanted to please, the recipient that makes a gift valuable. It’s the motivation of the giver, their consideration and the love that expresses, that we really appreciate.

And I think that’s what’s so special about the scrapbooks we make for our families and friends. After all, a scrapbook is a labour of love. We make the effort to take and gather photos, to spend hours choosing content and fonts and layouts that will complement those photos, to write down our thoughts and feelings, because we are thinking of the people we love and want to give them a meaningful gift. Our pages might not always be the most artistic, or follow the latest scrapping trends, or use the most up-to-date content – but they are heartfelt, they are thoughtful, they are expressions of love. That’s what makes them valuable! A gift card from the mall might be appreciated (especially by a teenager!) at the time it is given, but it will be soon forgotten. A scrapbook is a gift that will be remembered and treasured, and will go on saying “I love you” for years. That’s the sort of thoughtfulness that truly counts.

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Content used on this page: p2P A Grand Day BP. Seatrout Scraps Juice Bar Bundle. Fonts: Harlow Solid Italic, Just Realize.

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2 Responses to Blog: Thoughtfulness

  1. junegauntley says:

    Thank you Alison….a very “thoughtful” post! And, I love your page of those amazing Spitfires! 🙂

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