Jason Stevens lives a life of wealth; he has no restrictions whatsoever on how he spends his money. When his grandfather dies, he expects the “ultimate gift” to be hundreds of millions of dollars for his own inheritance. Little did he know, he was in for a big surprise. The story of The Ultimate Gift begins with a video which declares that Red Stevens has died, and his older children having received their millions of dollars with greedy anticipations. But a different fate is waiting for Jason Stevens, who Red Stevens believes that this is the last vestige of hope for the family. There is a series of twelve gifts, which each gift was chosen by Red to teach a lesson and to develop character in Jason. If Jason succeeded at the fulfillment of the requirement of one gift, he was given the next, until at last, he received “the ultimate gift.” What Red does for Jason is what leads to The Ultimate Gift story.
If he failed in the task required by each gift, that was the end of the gifts. Red’s friend, Theophilus Hamilton, told Jason that he expected him to fail and to fail quickly, which it was not surprising that the first gift was the gift of work. He must learn to value the lessons and fulfillment of work in order to pass this task. He sat all day long doing nothing, until he realized that “receiving the gift” meant completing the task. The second gift was the gift of friendship. He must learn to value others, which he made friends with a little girl named Emily. The lesson taught here was that you cannot buy friendship, which brings us to the third gift, the gift of money. He must learn the value of money and the good it can do. Having spent millions of dollars on frivolous living, he learned the value of money by receiving a check with $1500 and giving it away to Alexia and Emily for their overdue hospital bills. The fourth gift is the gift of family. Some people are born into wonderful families. Others find or create them. Being a member of a family is a priceless privilege which costs nothing but love.
The next four gifts are focused on how Jason trains his mind and his mental abilities. The fifth gift is the gift of gratitude, where he recognizes his own pride and arrogance. One must develop humility which comes the gift of gratitude and being thankful for gifts. One might find it ironic that the people in this world who have the most to be thankful for are often the least thankful, and the people who have virtually nothing lives in gratitude. The sixth gift is the gift of laughter, which means that he must learn to see the joys of life. Many people live unhappy lives because they take things too seriously. Life without laughter is not worth living. The seventh gift is the gift of problems. He must learn to welcome problems and learn from them. When one can learn from their own problems, they begin to deal with life. When one can learn from other people’s problems, they begin to master life. The eighth gift is the gift of learning, which means that he must learn even if learning is painful. A quote from the movie can be inferred, which is, “Education is a lifelong journey whose destination expands as you travel”.
These next four gifts are ones that can be learned by experience. The ninth gift is the gift of dreams. He must have his own dream which allows him to dream of helping others fulfill their dreams. Your dreams for your life must be yours. They cannot belong to someone else, and they must continue to grow and expand. The tenth gift is the gift of a day. Through the eyes of a dying child, he learns the value of every day of one’s life. If we are living our lives the way we should, everything should be in such an order that we wouldn’t change the last day of our life from any other day. The eleventh gift is the gift giving. One will have to give away a part of oneself in order to truly get more out of life for themselves. Jason will have to learn the joy of giving. The twelfth gift is the gift of love. In my opinion, this gift is the most important as one would have to care for others more than one cares for oneself. They will have to live for others more than they live for themselves. Jason learns that love makes each of us a different person, and it makes each one we love a different person too.
Surprisingly enough, the gift of love was not the ultimate gift in my opinion, although it seems like it is. The gift of love follows the golden rule, which is to treat everyone the way you want to be treated. However, I believe that a better alternative would be the gift of a life lived to its fullest. By practicing all twelve gifts, we can give ourselves the ultimate gift. It seems realistic to focus on one aspect of living the good life each month while also tending to our other responsibilities. The greatest gift anyone could be given is the awareness of all the gifts one already has.