It is Not the Gift, But the Thought that Counts

I remember as a kid putting together my Christmas list every year, just like many kids do. At that age it was all about me. As I got to be an older kid I started making two lists; one for me, and one for those in my family. But still being a kid, I had very little money to buy presents with, which was disappointing to me.

It is not the gift, but the thought that counts. – Bible or Not?

I recall being taught by my mother at this young age that it wasn’t the size or cost of the gift, but it was the thought behind it that counted. What a relief! I figured as long as I did my very best, to either make or buy the best I could, then it would be a good gift. And as parents, don’t we treasure those gifts we receive from our children? Whether it’s a hand-made card, or a chochkee from the dollar store, or the promise of helping around the house or spending time together, it’s all good. We see the intent, and the effort, and we are blessed.

Well, it’s the same with God. We are His children, and could never repay Him for the gifts He has given us. But we can still give Him whatever gifts we have, and when we give of the best that we are able to, He is blessed and smiles upon us. This Christmas week let’s remember the ultimate gift that we celebrate – Christmas day commemorates the gift of Jesus Christ coming into this world to save the world.

So as we prepare for and celebrate Christmas, as we are giving and receiving gifts, let’s not forget the first and ultimate Gift Giver. For each gift that we give let’s give it in the true spirit of Christmas, and for each gift that we may receive let’s receive it with humility and thanksgiving. And remember, it’s not the gift, but the thought that counts. What’s your opinion, we’d like to know (leave a comment).

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Ephesians 4:7-8 KJV

I almost forgot: is this quote in the Bible or Not? The origin of , “It is not the gift, but the thought that counts”, comes from Henry van Dyke (1852 – 1933), an American author, poet and theologian. Van Dyke was a professor of literature at Princeton University and was given prestigious positions and honor during his life. You can read more about Henry van Dyke here.

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It is Not the Gift, But the Thought that Counts — 3 Comments

  1. what a nice break to take in the middle of the pre-christmas craze at work, and remember how wonderful it is to consider our precious Lord and all He’s done for us. Our gifts of praise? All in the thought, not how loud, how public, how on key, how long, just in the thought and intention is where it counts. Merry Christmas, BoN, and have a Blessed New Year with plenty of continually inspiring posts.

  2. Hey Brokenlom, thanks for your thoughts and wishes – right back at you. Yes, let’s offer Him gifts of praise and love in this Christmas time and the new year. GBU.

  3. As I read you interesting article, the only thing I would add is this: Yes, the quote “its not the gift, but the thought that counts” is a scriptually base concept. See 2Corinthians 8:12. However, it is still a beautifull paraphrased concept.


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