Gifts and giving

“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.”
Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur

This is the first topic taken from The Daily Post that I’ll have blogged about: “What is the best gift you’ve ever received?”

Frankly, the only reason I decided to weigh in on the subject is that it’s such an easy question for me to answer.

It was Christmas Day 2008 and I was speaking to my brother on the phone when he asked what I thought of the cufflinks he got me. I actually hadn’t seen the little box under the tree before so I unwrapped my gift there and then thinking that the surprise had been somewhat diluted by knowing what was inside. How wrong I was.

I found myself holding an England’s Glory matchbox instead of the gift box I was expecting. I slid it open and emptied the contents into my hand while my brother explained what it was exactly that I was looking at: the shrapnel from a bullet which had narrowly missed his head in Afghanistan that he’d dug out of the wall with his bayonet and had made into cufflinks for me.

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