Me: “Oh my gosh!”
Gift Giver: “It’s just a little something.”
Or maybe they say, “I didn’t know what to get so.”
Or, “Don’t get too excited.”
Are you kidding me?
It’s a present.
It’s a big deal.
I couldn’t care less if you ran to your back cupboard and grabbed the candle that your great aunt gave you three years ago. I’m telling you, as long as it isn’t Eau de Dog Poo, I’m going to love it.
Eh, who’s kidding who.
Even if smells just like Eau de Dog Poo, I’ll love it anyway (though I hope we get to laugh out loud about it, right then, because then the story will become the gift).
The thing is, to give a gift to anyone, is to connect.
For billions of us, our recent times of forced disconnection are still very fresh. We are still turning them over in our minds… exploring and processing and pondering them. Their impacts and consequences are now a part of us, of our stories… our personal and our collective.
There is so much I took for granted (perhaps even felt entitled to) in the days and years Before. I’ve written about ambient people, mentioned breakfast sounds (the clinking of dishes and silverware, the talking of servers and customers and kitchen staff when we get to go out for that first meal of the day), and touched on the freedom in our everydays. There are so many more examples, of course.
Including being able to pick out a gift for someone, from any place I choose.
To walk in, and take my time poking around… to accept or gratefully refuse help along the way. Then to wrap it, or put it in a pretty bag with tissue paper, or simply tie a bit of garden twine ’round it a few times (one of my fave ‘gift decorations’), and – when the time is right – head out to see a friend or loved one, or maybe wave down the person who delivers the packages off the big brown truck, and give them what I chose. To see their smile, in person… their reaction, whether shy or excited or goofy or grateful. You thought of them. The gift itself is secondary (unless you are an over-indulged pre-teen, or maybe a sociopath).
When someone gives me a gift?
I know they’ve done the same thing.
Studies show that most of us (like, 97.5% of us) can only really focus on one thing at a time. That means that, when someone is choosing a gift for me, in that very moment, they have to be thinking of me. Because science.
And that’s just during the gift picker-outer-ing.
Then there’s the augmentation – maybe a bag or wrapping paper (or twine), and deciding how and when and where they will give it to me. Then they have to hand it over, hoping that I’m all smiles.
Do you know what that is?
How on earth could anyone possibly put the word, ‘just’ in front of the description of your gift after all that?
‘Just a little something.’
‘Just something I picked up.’
‘Don’t get too excited.’
The gift is awesome.
And, oh yeah.
From my whole heart.
Even if it’s the Eau de Poo.
Thank you for the gift you’ve given me this year, reading my words (if they made you smile, or shed a cleansing tear? Well that’s just a bonus). Much love to you and yours.
I hope you had a wonder-filled Christmas ❤️
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