“It’s the thought that counts” is a common expression while gift giving, but what really are the thoughts that count? After asking several Kansas State students about the best gift they have ever received, what makes a gift sentimental varies from person to person.
For some, it’s the practicality and daily usability of the gift that makes it mean something.
Bailey Stein, sophomore in kinesiology, said her parents got her a laptop for her graduation that she appreciates because of how much use she’s gotten from it.
“I’ve used it a lot last year in college and this year in college,” Stein said.
Others looking back appreciate a present not only because of the happiness it brought them, but also the growth it provided them with.
John Rogers, senior in history and geography, said his favorite gift was his first pet.
“I think the best gift I’ve ever received was my first dog when I was little because then I had someone that I could play with at any time,” Rogers said. “It also helped teach me some more responsibility by helping take care of her.”
Gifts received as kids can also bring back memories that make a present more meaningful.
Abbie Boucher, junior in social work, said she got the best gift when she was a child.
“When I was in elementary school, my grandma bought me the American Girl doll Kit, and she got me a matching sailor’s outfit to wear with it,” Boucher said. “I guess I just remember that because taking pictures and everything, and I had wanted that for so long.”
In some cases, it can be the person who gives the gift that makes it special.
Sarah Alhebshi, freshman in accounting, said anything her mother gives her is special to her. She remembers in particular a pair of earrings she received from her mom.
“She’s my mom, and I love her so much,” Alhebshi said. “So when I ever get something from her, I am so happy and I try to keep that thing from her. Well, she is the best gift for me, my mom.”
There are other gifts that aren’t concrete items, which carry sentiment for some.
Cameron Brown, graduate student in marriage and family therapy, said the best gifts he receives usually come from his wife, who gives him different experiences or “staycations.”
“My wife is really good at getting me fantastic gifts because she rarely gets me items or things,” Brown said. “They’re usually like tickets to shows, like she just recently got me tickets to go see “Annie” here at the McCain center. It’s always kind of getaways or going to a musical or a concert or something like that.”
Overall, the thoughts that go into the gifts depend on what matters to the person receiving the gift. From toys to pets or experiences, each present offers its own sense of enjoyment to the receiver.