By Richard Halle

Give and Take

Grampa are you coming to Alan’s graduation?

Of course. Is there a reason I wouldn’t?

It’s only the eighth grade.

It’s not very important

And he doesn’t care.

Just because you’re going to be out of high school next year

Doesn’t mean what Alan’s doing isn’t important.

Are you going to give him a present?

I’m sure I will.

Why are you interrogating me?

I think that if you get Alan a present

He won’t appreciate it.

And he won’t even use it unless it’s got something to do with surfing.

Even then it won’t be the right design or color.

What are you suggesting?

Give him money. That’s the best thing.

You mean the best thing for you or Alan?

The best thing for everybody.

I think you should always give money for graduation.

Oh, like for high school graduation next year?

You see Grampa, kids depend on their relatives for gift money.

Then we can save up for something we want.

Everybody talks about it.

Birthday money; graduation money; Christmas and Hanukah money.

Everybody knows about what their friends got.

It’s very important.

Jenny, it may be satisfying to receive money,

But it’s not so satisfying to give money.

There’s two sides to gift giving, the giver and the receiver.

I like to think about the right gift to give,

How much to spend, trying to find and purchase what I had in mind.

Then wrapping it appropriately and delivering it.

It’s a lot more work for the giver than the receiver,

But to me that’s what makes it a gift.

The thoughtfulness that goes into the whole effort.

But Grampa what if the receiver doesn’t like it.

That’s an important question.

In gift giving there is the risk that you will disappoint,

Appear foolish or even insulting.

That anxiety is just another element in the process.

I would be happy to think that one day Alan might

Fondly remember an eighth grade graduation gift from a

Loving relative even if he didn’t like it.

You want too much Grampa.

I hope so Jenny.


Grampa Grant is Richard Hille a long time Laguna Beach resident with three Grandchildren.

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