When it comes to gifts, I don’t think its the thought that matters. Most of the people I know have enough scarves, scented candles and picture frames to last a lifetime, and this type of generic gift does not really show how much I value their friendship. I treasure gifts that show thought and an awareness of who I am. For example, one of my all time favorite gifts was a tray of homemade moussaka. We were all in grad school in New Haven and both money and time were in short supply. Like me, Sheila was a very young working mom juggling a job, an old house and limited daycare. When I realized that she had taken the time to cook this complicated dish, I burst into tears. I loved moussaka and she remembered how much I had enjoyed it when we ate out together at a local restaurant. Its been more than 30 years… and I have both the memory and the friendship.
This year, rather posting a list of general wish list , I will share my own personal holiday guide. It gives me such a rush to find the gift that simply says– “I get you my friend”. I make notes throughout the year about tastes and interests and keep my budget at less than $50/gift to avoid bankrupting myself . And while any gift needs to reflect their interests, I don’t give presents that offend my beliefs. In other words, you won’t find fur ear muffs or e-cigarettes on my holiday list.
My “Other” Holiday Gift Guide
I also have a rather large list of gifts for the wonderful support staff that work with my husband in his research and practice. In this case I shop at craft shows to support local artisans. Each year I find amazing handmade soaps, original jewelry and unique hand thrown pottery. These are some of my favorite gifts and I can’t resist buying extras for myself. On Friday I will share my personal gift list and photos of the artisan finds next week.