Growing up, it was not easy for me to receive gifts from my parents.
My mom or dad would buy something out of the ordinary to surprise me, and I would reject their offering, often demanding that they return it.
I was not happy because I didn't want them to spend money unnecessarily on me.
Eventually, I started waking up to the truth that every gift they presented to me was a direct expression of their love. They wanted me to know that they cared and were thinking about ways to add to my life.
Not only did I not acknowledge their efforts, I unfairly took the opportunity to release the bottled-up stress and frustration from my own life. I labeled their gifts as annoyances instead of offerings of warm connection.
As I'm getting older and closer than ever to my parents, the tables have turned, and I find myself doing the same thing they had done for me for my whole life.
I'm constantly thinking of new gifts to send, ways to increase their quality of living, and how to fill their home with thoughtful expressions of my love.
Gift-giving became so important, my partner Tong-Tong and I teamed up to curate a catalog of the highest-rated and most frequently used products we've gifted our parents so others can also share the love with their families. We called it Parents Are Gifts.
Our parents have given us the greatest gift of life and made countless sacrifices for our well-being and future.
Even though our younger selves may not have been able to see, appreciate, or understand those sacrifices, it is never too late to start giving back.