"It is the thought that counts." Do we still follow this motto?

@cream97 (29166)
United States
November 20, 2009 7:50pm CST
I gave my mother-in-law a book. It was called, "The Words Of Christ". She has read most of the book. But apparently she did not care for the contents of this book. It read like a Jehovah Witness book. My brother-in-law told her that the book was considered a Jehovah's witness book. I am not a Jehovah's witness follower nor is the rest of them. So, my mother-in-law told me that she stopped reading the book because it was a Jehovah's Witness book. Well this had made me feel bad. Why?, Because I took to heart that she was bored and I wanted her to have something that would occupy her time as she sat around in the house all day. And no one else seemed to give her anything that would help ease her loneliness, except for me. I told my mother-in-law about how it made me feel, that she took less interest in the book that I gave to her. I told her that I had no idea that it sounded like a Jehovah's witness book. I just gave it to her because I wanted her to have something that would keep her busy.. She is always complaining about how she is bored and that she hardly gets out. So, I was trying to be kind to her by offering her this book. It seems that when my brother-in-law, (which is her son) found out that she was reading the book, she stopped reading it. I want to know, do we still follow the motto, "It is the thought that counts"? Shouldn't we be fair to each other? Many people have given me gifts and presents that I did not really care for, but I would never tell them in any way that I don't like it. If I did not like it, I would keep all comments to myself. I don't want to hurt their feelings. Do you think that my mother-in-law should have been the same way with me? I gave her this book out of love for her, only to have her gift thrown back into my face. If she had to bypass her personal feelings about the book and look at it, into a perspective, as to say that I was being kind, then maybe she would discover the real meaning of me giving her this book.
5 people like this
13 responses
@Fulltank (2896)
• Philippines
21 Nov 09
Very nice of you to give such wonderful gift like that. I would love to receive one from you too. lol I loved to give gifts to my family even if it only cost me the smallest amount there is. My wife and kids already knew that its the taught that counts when it come to gift giving. If I heard one complain on how cheap it was, its nothing serious and never took it literary. I knew my family loves gifts as they have treasured each and every one of them. Really, its the taught that counts.
3 people like this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
It is the thought that counts.. Most people expect someone to spend a lot of money on a gift. But, sometimes that may be impossible to. I had bought my aunt and uncle a Christmas card for the both of them. My others aunts was not pleased that I gave them these cards. They got mad at me because I bought them cheap cards. I had no money to buy something that they would have liked more. But I felt that I did try to give something. So, they took me off of the Christmas list. So each year, my name is not drawn to give two people a gift.. If we are supposed to be a REAL family then money should not be the reason we are accepted??
2 people like this
@ladym33 (11008)
• United States
21 Nov 09
That was very thoughtful of you. My husband's mom was really honest like that too, as are his grandparents they don't realize that it hurts someone's feelings when you tell them you don't like a gift that they gave you. I got my husband's grandparents a fruitbasket one year for Christmas we were newly married and didn't have that much money and the fruit basket was not that cheap. I didn't know what else to get them and figured everyone eats fruit right? They actually laughed at us and laughed at he fruit basket. I wanted to take it back and eat the fruit myself I was so upset, it also came in a very pretty bowl. I was really offended that they actually laughed at it. So I know how you feel. Did your Mother in Law think that you were pushing religious beliefs on her?
2 people like this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
Hi, ladym33. I am sorry about what happened to your fruit basket. I am pretty sure that the bowl that it was in was very pretty. As far as my knowledge is concerned, I don't think that my mil thought that I was trying to make her be a Jehovah's Witness. She knows that I don't follow this kind of religion.. I told her an episode about how a man tried to chase me down in his car by giving me a booklet from Jehovah's Witnesses. I threw it in the trash can when I got home.. I sometimes feel that my mil is very ungrateful when it comes to me doing good for her. Because I have noticed that down the line she gives me her behind to kiss. It was mean of your relatives to make fun of your fruit basket.. It is mean for them to be like this. People like this, won't have any good coming to them..
2 people like this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
21 Nov 09
Cream I know what you are saying and you gave it out of love.but consider that most readers have certain generes of books that they love and others they would never read. to be really thoughtful and also be sure you are not throwing a dig at your mother inlaw wanting to convert her to your religion, it would be better to find out the type of book she really liked and give it to her,it might not be what you would like, but it would be a really personal gift to her from you because you took a few moments to find out just what she liked. I know that I do not appreciate it when someone gives me a religious book because its never close to my own beliefs and I already have a bible. I would love it though if someone gave me a mystery book. I am not trying to be mean here at all as you only wanted to make her happy but books at least to me are really personal and should be selected with the likes of the person in mind. I know your mother in law has been a pain to you but maybe a book she really likes might get her busy so she will not try to use you all the time to entertain her.
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
21 Nov 09
I just wanted to add that yes it is the thought that counts but how much do you really care for your mother in law,I mean the thought usually is that it would be something the other person would really like, but if you have some hidden anger towards her maybe you were not quite as thoughtful as you might have been otherwise. I know that gifts in this horrid economy need not be expensive but being careful to tailor a gift to the receipient would help to relay your love for her.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
Hi, Hatley. You are right. Please let me explain to you my side of the story... I gave my mil this book out of love. When I gave the book to her I did not read the book. So therefore I did not know what the book was about.. I admit this was my fault. If I had to scan the book to see what kind of book that it was then maybe I could have gotten her something that she would have liked. I am in no way trying to turn her into a Jehovah's witness. This is a religion that I myself would never follow. Yes, I agree that books should be selected with the likes of the person in mind.. I have talked with her, and I have found out what books that she likes. Lastly, I would never expect her to like whatever I give to her. I know that her interests are different from mines. I don't expect her to like the same what I like nor do I expect her to accept my preferences for a book. Here is why I feel this way, please read below.. An older woman once gave me a gift. She gave me a two boxes of cologne. She gave me some house slippers too. She also gave me a red and black stripy scarf. Well, the gifts that she gave to me was of something that she assumed that I would like. The cologne smelled like a man's cologne. It did not smell the way that I desired. It was not a scent that I would choose if I had to buy this of my own. But, I appreciated the gift that she gave to me, so I utilized her gift. I wore the slippers even though they made my feet uncomfortable.. But later down the line, I stopped wearing them. The slippers were leaving a mark around my ankle which was very uncomfortable. I wore the perfume and scarf. It was not to my liking. But I appreciated the gift because she took the time to give it to me because of her appreciation that she had for me. I was honored to have someone give me a gift even though it was not to my liking. When my mil stopped reading the book it made me feel that she did not appreciate what I had gave her. Despite it being what she desired, it would be nice to have a Thank You. I am not trying to sound nasty or anything Hatley. But I really am not an mean person. I just wished that others would appreciate the things that I do for them. Sometimes in life, God will not give us what we want, but he will always give us what we need.
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
If this is the only thing that you remember from this post about me Hatley, please remember this: If I took the time to even think about giving my mil something, then this is more than any work. I have never seen any of her kids do for her what I have done for her.. I am never in competition with them.. I am only being a good daughter-in-law to her. I never try to be more than what I already am. Even though she has put me through a terrible strain, I still find it in my heart to do for her... That, to me is what counts..
@kellyjeanne (1576)
• United States
22 Nov 09
I understand exactly how you feel, but, I wouldn't take it personally. Most people feel very strongly about their religious/spiritual beliefs and because she didn't want to read the rest of the book is no reflection on how she feels about you or the gift that you bought for her. I believe that it's just her strong convictions concerning her religious beliefs that prevent her from finishing the book. Don't take it personally, hon. Purrs, Catwoman=^..^= & Mija
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
22 Nov 09
Hi, kellyjeannne. I agree. But, it still would have been considerate of her to at least keep her comments about how she felt about the book to herself. Just because she does not follow The Jehovah's Witness religion, does not mean that she can just knock the gift down of what I give her. I am not trying to be rude here, but that is how I feel.
• United States
23 Nov 09
You are right about that. If someone gave me a gift that I didn't like I would simply smile and say thank you. That would be the gracious thing to do. It would be very rude to come to that person and say something like: "Oh, I'm so sorry, but, I don't like it". That would be the rudest and most thoghtless thing to say to someone who bought you a gift. Purrs, Catwoman=^..^= & Mija
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
23 Nov 09
Now you see where I am coming from.. All before she was reading the book that I gave to her without a problem. Then she all of a sudden has complaints about it... When my bil told her that what she was reading was a Jehovah's Witness book, she automatically stopped reading it. It is sad that my mil can let someone tell her what not to do.. It would have been fair for her to tell her son that she still appreciated the book even though it is not the religion that she follows. She should have told him, that she will decide what is best for her, whether she wants to continue reading the book, or if she no longer wants to read it. Reading the rest of the book should have been her decision not her son's. She has read almost the entire book. So, if she had a problem with how the book sounded from the start, she would have been done put it aside. Just as soon as her son comes along to tell her what she has been reading, she decides that she no longer wants to read it. My mil needs to learn how to decide for herself what she likes and dislikes. Listening to someone else is not always the way to go.
• United States
24 Nov 09
My mother is a Jehovah's Witness, so I'm not going into that topic at all. I tend to defend her because I love her, and respect her religion. Anyway, I have noticed that too. Lately it seems as though some of my friends and family really appreciate the time I put into my gifts [I'm a creative person, so I love adding personal touches to cheaper items to make them personal], and some of them just toss them to the side - especially my niece and nephew. Last year was the worst - I went to my brother's house for Christmas [which I've done since I stopped following my mom's religion] and it was horrible. They were spoiled rotten [I would say each of them got a good 500 dollars worth of things] and when they came across my gift, they said "Cool" and tossed it to the side like an old rag. On top of it, the only person who got me something was my sister in law, and my nephew openly told me it was a last-minute thing, because she had forgotten. [Which hurt, I'm not going to lie, since I go there almost every every for Christmas.] I decided this year they are getting something very small, and if they show no appreciation next year they will get nothing. After all, I AM a college student, so I could spend my money on more important things, and on people who actually think of me in return.
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
25 Nov 09
I don't blame you, TickleMe. If someone had to treat my gift so thoughtless, I would not get them another gift either. It was mean for them to just toss your gift aside. I know how it feels when the in-laws don't give you anything. It will hurt. In-laws have a way of keeping a person out of the equation. They can make you feel that you don't belong at times. To blank with them....
• United States
21 Nov 09
An interesting thought considering Christmas is right around the corner. I have experienced similar things with my mother in law which makes me wonder if its just a mother in law kind of thing. I know that I have recieved lots of useless gifts but I smile and express my thanks anyway because that is polite and just because I don't necessarily care for whatever I've been given doesn't mean that the person who gave it didn't try their best to get me something they thought I would love. I think a lot of people in society have lost the kindness and sensativity that is needed, but maybe your post will make people think more when they recieve a present they don't really care for.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
Hi cuddle. I hope to make a difference in others thinking when it comes to me giving a gift. Thank you for understanding where I am coming from!
@jnmbrown (19)
• United States
21 Nov 09
She may have loved the thought behind the gift but felt she owed you an explination as to why she stopped reading it. In my experience, it is usually best to give people like that gift cards. If getting out is something she wants then you could give her a gift card to a book store so she can get out and go to the book store and purchase any book she wants. Or perhaps a gift card to a craft store...there is tons to do at craft stores.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
Hi, jn. Yes that is a great idea. That way she can get what she wants.. This is something that I will start doing for others from now on anyway.. It works out better this way.. Besides, I would rather someone give me the money or the gift card.. Thanks for this suggestion!
@rhayde29 (126)
• Philippines
21 Nov 09
i do ^^ Specially that someone special to me gave that to me ^^
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
Hi, r. Yes, it is special being that someone gave it to you.
• China
21 Nov 09
It does hurt you a lot.It will do much worse to me if I was treated like that. Just because of the education they are served,they maybe couldn't understand you.So when you next time to buy books for them ,you should think of their habits.That's maybe better.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
Hi, cathy.. You mean like what habits??
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
21 Nov 09
Hi cream, sweetie, I really don't think she meant to hurt your feelings but wanted to be truthful with you about it and why. She knows that you meant well and that's why she started to read it and even though she didn't like the contents of it or agree with it, she did try to read it until her son told her what it sounded like. I, myself wouldn't want to read something outside of my religion especially when it comes to Jehovah's Witness. Their beliefs are really strange and frankly, I don't think God put us on this earth to not enjoy ourselves by going to a party or other things that they don't believe in. Maybe if you give her another book, say one of her religion, then she'd love it and read it all the way through. I honestly don't think she meant any harm. If it were me that gave her the book, I'd be glad she was honest about it and you are right, it is the thought that counts.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
You have a point there at least she was honest. It would have hurt more if she had to lie to be about liking the book. I do know what type of books she likes to read as of now. I guess the truth hurts..
@rjvb26 (2518)
• Philippines
21 Nov 09
Your so nice, anyway yes i still follow that motto. It is ok for me and my wife whatever we gift we received, what ever occasion in may be. If i have lots of money will will buy her, shoes and dresses, but if i do not have extra, i simply make a very simple card, telling that i love her so much and seeing her happy and in good shape makes me happy too. My wife also giving me gifts but not that expensive, sometimes a kiss, And it really made me happy, i always tell her that no matter what gift or how much the gift that she will give me, what important is the thought that counts. And i also tell her that, seeing her smile and happy is the best gift in the world than she can give me. For friends, i give them different recipes and music cd, i give them recipes of their favorite and want to eat foods that they did not even tasted yet. For music, i choose all their favorite song and artist that will relieve their stress and make them happy. And i am happy that my friend are too good, cause they are easily satisfied with what i gave them and seeing them happy is enough meaning that my gifts are worth it.
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
21 Nov 09
Hi, rjvb26! You are such a sweet man! You remind me of so much of me! Only I am a woman. I love to see others smile. And if I can't afford something, I will give them a gift that still means something. You are very compassionate. Continue to be this way, your life will be filled with love and blessings!
@trisha27 (3498)
• United States
21 Nov 09
I always follow the motto as well that its the thought that counts. I have never been the person that would tell someone that I did not like the gift either. Because they spent all that time trying to find a gift that they thought that I would like. I would just hold on to it and maybeuse it later or something. I think that it was rude that your mother-in-law expressed her feelings about the gift that you had given her in the way that she did, without even one thought or concern of how you would feel and that it would hurt your feelings.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
21 Nov 09
I still follow that Motto and always will, as it is very true whether you like a Present or not it is the thought that counts and for that reason I would be happy with it and treasure it I mean even if it a book I do not like I would not tell the Person and just keep it on my Shelf I am sorry that you got hurt like this specially as you are the only one that tried to help her to stop being so bored
1 person likes this