The phrase "it's the thought that counts" is often used when people open a gift that was probably inexpensive or homemade. Sometimes it's even used when a gift is not really reflective of the interests of the recipient when, ironically, there was probably little thought or thoughts that indicate the giver didn't know the recipient very well at all.
It's rarely the case that someone utters the aforementioned phrase in a positive way which shows that they recognize a gift was very thoughtful. This is a tendency I'd like to change starting with one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received in my life from my friend, Shawn. I received a large surprise box from him for Christmas and was shocked and delighted by the contents.
To give you some idea of how Shawn did such an excellent job of making such a thoughtful gift, I'll tell you that we play an on-line game 2-3 times a week and chat via Skype while we play. On more than one occasion, I've lamented about my inability to cook something because of a lack of proper spices or ingredients in Japan. Shawn appears to have taken note of everything I mentioned and sent along whatever it is I didn't have and added a few lovely surprises. It's a care package that really shows care.
He also managed to provide me with a Christmas tree (after I blogged that my old one had gone to plastic tree heaven). And he sent me a monkey that yells when you launch it. There is very little cooler than a flying monkey!
I'm simply overwhelmed by how closely he listened to me and provided everything I talked about in our conversations. (I'm also impressed that he sent this huge heavy box by airmail at great expense.) It shows a great deal of thought and I can't express in words how much I appreciate that. Thank you, Shawn! I'll never forget this. :-)