Recently I was shopping for a birthday present for a friend.
Buying presents for others can be difficult. You hope the person will like what you choose, but they might not. Even if you spend a lot of money, it doesn't automatically mean they will like it.
The idea of a present is to make someone happy. The thought counts more than the actual present. If you go shopping with a smile on your face, and think about making your friend happy, you're more likely to succeed than if you worry too much about their reaction.
Next time you have to buy a present for someone, choose it from the heart. Enjoy yourself, and remember that the act of giving is a gift in itself - both for the recipient and for you.
Cheng King-yee, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
From the Editor
Thanks for your letter, King-yee. It is always great to give and receive gifts, but difficult to buy presents for people in Hong Kong who seem to have everything. One of the more meaningful ways of giving gifts is to 'buy' something from a charity and then give the person a card and a receipt.
How much more meaningful is it to help some hungry children in Asia than to hand over a DVD your friend might watch for an hour or so? For less than HK$500, you can restore two people's sight. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can make a big difference to someone's life with a 'gift' to a friend.
Check out your options online and make sure that your money counts.