Joyful Giving: Inspiration

And the Award Goes To…

When I’m sitting down with my glass of wine and bowl of popcorn getting sucked into a world that is not my own nothing gets me choked up quite like the perfect gift being given.  It’s something about the surprise factor when you find out that the character found the perfect moment to recreate or they were listening the whole time to hear what their partner really needed. It is an inside joke or special memory.  It is a gift given in hopes that this isn’t the end, just the beginning of a new adventure.  It represents a greater message. And it just gives me all the feels. Every. Single. Time.

To help get us in the gift giving mood pre-Valentine’s Day I have assembled a list of some of my most chills-worthy gifts given on the big screen.

From my TV screen to you, here they are.  (In no particular order, because I love them all too much to decide!)

  1. The Tea Pot- The Office

Ughhhh Jim and Pam. One of my all-time favorite love stories. There were so many hurdles (not even the tea pot makes it to her without difficulties!), but it was worth the wait.  We get the first part of this gift 2 seasons in.  Jim gets Pam a tea pot that he knows she has been wanting, but to make it even better he fills it with inside jokes.  A photo of himself from high school that made Pam laugh, a golf pencil that Pam had thrown at him years earlier that he kept and a letter that he scoops up without her knowledge (more on that later). This gift took some serious thought and planning and is just one of the many reasons Jim Halpert is one of the dreamiest guys of all time.


  1. The Thimble- Hook

This one is a nod to my childhood.  Hook was the first movie I ever really loved.  My brother and I watched it regularly during our Friday movie nights.  In the movie Hook, Wendy tells Peter Pan she will give him a kiss and Peter holds out his hand. Wendy then asks if Peter knows what a kiss is and he responds, “I shall once you give one to me”.  Wendy hands Peter a thimble in place of a kiss. And so our family tradition began. Whenever we came across a thimble we passed it between each other in place of a kiss. I effortlessly feel the corners of my mouth begin to crawl up my face whenever I stumble across one today.

  1. The Cappuccino Machine- Father of the Bride

Sorry fancy Mackenzie’s or Brian with the blender, George takes the cake on gift giving.  It might be the fact that he is SO excited to present Annie with the cappuccino machine, or the fact that he noted her love of cappuccinos and he thought she would love to make them at home. I think what really seals the deal for me is the fact that he bought the gift on his own, without Nina, his wife, even knowing. He did it with the sole desire of just making his daughter smile. I hate that even for a second that George thinks his cappuccino maker might appear embarrassing next to the new car the Mackenzie’s presented Brian and Annie with.  Thank you Annie for telling your Dad how much you loved it. I can’t stand a sad George Stanley Banks!  This gift shows it truly is the thought that counts.

  1. Pearl Necklaces- The First Wives Club

College graduation is such a monumental moment.  The friends you make in college have a special place in your heart because you grew up with them.  You moved out of your parent’s house with them.  You stepped out into the world for the first time with them by your side. They see you at some of your best and at your absolute worst (anyone got one of those memory erasers from Men in Black handy?!).  Even though life takes the women in the movie in opposite directions they fall back into place as soon as they are all back in the same location.  The pearls are a constant reminder of where their friendship began and how they are always with each other.  My college friends and I have talked about recreating this with a matching piece of jewelry- ladies, maybe it’s time we get on that!

  1. Truvy’s II- Steel Magnolias

Dolly Parton is one of my favorite people ever (I named my dog after here.), so this one may be slightly biased.  In Steel Magnolia, I adore how Truvy is a ray of sunshine no matter what life throws at her. Her husband is so detached, her son is giving off some serious dead beat vibes and yet there goes Truvy just making her “cuppa cake”.  As we are wrapping up this tear jerker and Spud comes out of left field and surprises Dolly with a second location of her business!  It was such a thoughtful gesture that showed how much Spud really appreciated Truvy and believed in her.

  1. The Love Rocket- Gilmore Girls

Before you read anymore, you must know that I am Team Logan.  All the way. I realize this is a controversial stance to take, but we can debate that one later.  When Logan moves overseas he sends Rory a model rocket with no explanation.  It takes her a bit to remember the significance of the rocket, but as soon as she does she swoons.  It turns out the rocket wasn’t any ordinary rocket, but in fact a love rocket.  It represented a Twilight Zone episode that Logan and Rory had watched together that Logan thought displayed a couple who were truly in love. I love the love rocket because it introduces you to such a specific moment in Logan and Rory’s relationship.  A moment that must have held such significance for him.  A moment when true love in the Twilight Zone helps him recognize the true love in he and Rory’s relationship.  He memorialized that moment into something physical she could hold on to and keep present  while he was away. Team Logan for the win!

  1. The DVD-The Office

We had to finish this with Jim and Pam.  They are amazing gift givers and I could probably make a list of just gifts they have given each other.  After going through a difficult season in their marriage Pam tells Jim that she worries she is not enough for him.  He is so baffled by this that he enlists the camera crew’s help to create a DVD for her of him watching her over 8 years.  It shows their friendship grow, their engagement and that famous air high five.  Pam sheds a graceful tear at the end and I use up an entire box of Kleenex in those two minutes. Right as the DVD is coming to a close it reveals to Pam that the tea pot Jim gave her originally contained a note that he swiped without her knowing.  He then hands Pam the note that he has been holding onto for six years! (and my blubbering kicks into full gear) We don’t get to know what the note said, but Jim tells Pam that she is everything and that is all I need to hear.

I know that movie magic is not something that easily translates into real life, but I think gift giving may be a small space where it can.  Gift giving is an opportunity to break up the mundane and create a moment, a memory.  It’s a space where it is ok to take your time, plan something elaborate and even get a little corny.  It is a time when we can focus all of our energy on what we can do to brighten someone’s world or show them what they mean to us. Our world could use a whole lot more of that.

What are your favorite TV and movie gift giving moments?

With Love, From Me To You