I was contemplating the truth in something that I once told my wife... that the true value of a gift is determined by the one who receives it. Since that time I have come to believe that not only does the receiver determine the value of a gift, he or she decides if what was given - is even a gift.

Remembering a time when I was watching one of those popular funniest video shows... There was an expectant mother who was breaking the news of her impending pregnancy to both her mother and her young daughter. The grandmother went wild with excitement.. while the daughter - well, she just went wild. She screamed, "I DON'T WANT A BABY BROTHER!" Viewers went back and forth with the grandmother's delight - and the child's horror of discovering she would no longer be an only child! The grandmother felt that she had been truly gifted whereas the young girl did not.

I am always thinking of gift ideas for my wife, which is not an easy task because her wants are few and her needs are simple. She is the kind of woman who if I happened to show up with a diamond bracelet would thank me warmly and appreciate my thoughtfulness but who would have been happier if I had brought her a McCoy, which she collects.

Awhile back, she took the grandkids and made the rounds of several garage sales in the area. She managed to buy all three girls an outfit and a couple of other goodies for just three dollars. I happened to call her at the end of this excursion and you would have thought she had won the lottery. She was all excited over her yard sale bargains and I could hear her smile over the phone.

The kids would tell you that they had received a gift. My wife would tell you she had received a gift, but I would say it was me who received the gift when I saw the real joy and happiness in someone who lights up my world with her smile.

Who would have thought three dollars could have made so many people feel so gifted?

Three dollars in cash, immeasurable in value.

Author's Bio: 

Ralph P. Brown is a Mohawk instructor on the use of the Medicine Wheel. He is a pipe carrier, ceremony leader, traditional storyteller and author of "Awakening the Eagle: A Guide to the Medicine Wheel" and "13 Virtues to a New Life: A Journey Around the Medicine Wheel". Having lived with several tribes and studied with many Medicine Men, he brings to his work a lifetime of study and experience. He operates MirroredWindows.com, an online art gallery.