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The true value of a gift

Let’s think of something that will be used, as well as treasured; something that will endure.

Article contribution by Byron Tully

Picture: 007 Store

Many of us are going to brave the malls and the crowds and the chaos soon in search of the perfect holiday gift for someone special. We’re going to rack our brains–especially us men–in order to conjure up that perfect, awe-inspiring material thing that says it all to the one who means everything to us.

And we’ll probably come up short.  We’d be infinitely better off preparing a meal, opening a bottle of wine, lighting a candle, and inviting our beloved to have a seat and enjoy.

Of course, at some point over dinner or dessert, we could produce a small, thoughtful gift that was personal, meaningful, and enduring. There is a little-known law that states that the amount of thought given to a gift generally reduces the cost of said gift exponentially.

Picture: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Credit: NPR)

Anyone with a surplus of money and a shortage of sense can give a piece of retail jewelry. It takes a very affluent man, however, to locate an out-of-print book by his darling’s favorite author and give that as a holiday gift. (If your significant other would rather have a piece of retail jewelry than a gift of more subtle and enduring value, consider your future together carefully.)

The true value of a gift is the moment it represents, the history it holds, the sentiment it confirms. To translate these emotions that are by definition difficult to articulate into appropriate (and hopefully affordable) gifts can be challenging. But let’s elevate the process: let’s think of something that will be used, as well as treasured; something that will endure, and not just shine for the fleeting moment; something that will improve with age, like memories and the people who help make them.

Think more. Spend less. And give a better gift this holiday. The true value will show.

Picture: Crockett & Jones shoes and Omega Seamaster 300M 007 Edition

About Byron Tully (right)

Grandson of a newspaper publisher and son of an oil industry executive, Byron Tully is an author who also writes for the entertainment industry. His nonfiction debut, "The Old Money Book," was published in April of 2013 to excellent reviews and enjoys consistently strong sales worldwide. His other works include "The Old Money Guide To Marriage", "Old Money, New Woman: How To Manage Your Money and Your Life", and "Old Money Style - The Gentleman's Edition".

Byron regularly contributes to its blog, www.theoldmoneybook.com, which has been visited by over 1 million readers since 2014.

In February of 2020, "Old Money Style - The Gentleman's Edition" was published by Acorn Street Press. This fourth book in the Old Money series reveals the fundamentals of dressing well in a classic and timeless style. In November of 2020, Byron published a 2nd Edition of "The Old Money Book", which expands on his original classic. This 2nd Edition includes vital information and insights for readers as they navigate a very different, post-pandemic world.

Byron speaks frequently about the culture and values of Old Money. He has been interviewed by KABC New York's Financial Quarterback Show, The Huffington Post, and The Simple Dollar, among others.

He lives in Paris and is happily married to an Old Money Gal from Boston.

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