Letter from the Editor

It's Not Really About the Gift...

Article by Robin Moyer Chung

Photography by Ashely Armstrong Skatoff

Originally published in Westport Lifestyle

I was six years old and excited to buy my parents Christmas gifts for the first time. My mom took me, my sister, and my brother to Richmond Gordman to shop.

Cash hot in my pocket, I was released into the department store, wandering independently of parental supervision because that’s what parents did back then. 

I must have searched the toy department three times and still couldn’t find the right gift. I drifted to the jewelry department, pressing the buttons atop a glass cabinet, watching trinkets on felted metal shelves ferris-wheel beneath the counter.

Then I saw them: matching Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse bracelets. I felt the euphoria only a child can feel on the cusp of the best decision of their life. 

I bought the bracelets. Proud as all get-out, I carried them home: pure electricity in a paper bag. 

And then my dad came home. And the shock of the truth hit me: grown men don’t wear Mickey Mouse bracelets.

I cried. Cried. My parents asked me what was wrong, but I was inconsolable. Finally, I could stutter: I bought Daddy a Mickey Mouse bracelet and men don’t wear Mickey Mouse bracelets.

Dad looked at me and smiled, “I love Mickey Mouse bracelets!”

Even then, I knew it wasn’t true - he didn’t love Mickey Mouse bracelets. Grown men typically don’t polish their look by throwing on a Disney bauble. But I was just happy to know it didn’t matter what I bought him. He loved me and appreciated whatever I did for him.

I’ve carried this throughout my life: what someone does for you isn’t as important as why they’re doing it.

Also, never underestimate the power of a little white lie.

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