The first of the week is turning out to be the day we all do our challenges! I’m still wracking my brain to come up with HALF of Fimnora’s Monday Music Medicine Show challenge. But in the meantime I’ll give Raili’s Circle of Friends challenge a go! Raili’s questions this week are:
Have you ever received a precious, priceless gift from a friend? Or given one yourself? What was it, and what made it so special? OR imagine gifting something priceless to a friend. What would you choose and why?
Confession is good for the soul…
Gift giving among friends is one of those Catch 22 things for me. I LOVE to GIVE gifts. I used to do that a LOT when I was working and actually had some money. But since I talked yesterday about the whole good and evil, light and dark thing I’m trying to integrate within me, I will admit that sometimes I give gifts because I feel like I have to “buy” someone’s attention, affection, friendship… That says NOTHING about the person I’m giving the gift to, and A WHOLE DAMN LOT about my own self-esteem issues.
And for that reason, I sometimes struggle with receiving gifts from friends graciously because I feel like I need to pay them back — and for a long time I haven’t had any discretionary funds with which to do that. So, as I said, it’s kind of a Catch 22 for me.
Ok, so now that my confession is out of the way…
I’ve written often about the homies I hang with. There are seven of us that have been family-like close for 20+ years. We don’t generally do birthday gifts with each other, but I’ve gotten in the habit of taking each of them out for lunch to celebrate. (Food is great! One size fits all.) What we DO make a kind of big deal out of is Christmas. Every year we have a Christmas party where we’ve exchanged names for gifts. Since we know months ahead of time whose name we have, it can be fun to keep an eye out for something unexpected. Like Raili’s example, I think our gifts started out at $10 tops. But as inflation continued to rise we kind of got away from that.
In addition to the person we’ve purchased our gift for, we’ve kind of fallen into the habit of buying or making some small thing for each of the girls. That’s actually kind of a fun challenge. My favorite thing I’ve gotten was from Amy who passed out these little plastic strainer traps you put in your drain in the sink so silverware (for one thing) won’t fall into your disposal! Would I have ever thought to buy one for myself even though my disposal kept chewing up my spoons? Heck no. But it was like the perfect gift! LOL
Now as to Raili’s questions, the best gift I ever received from a friend was actually not something I could hold in my hands, it was a day out. There is this little touristy place down by Salt Lake called Gardner Village. I’d never heard of it before. One year Linda, one of the homies, surprised me by taking me there for an afternoon of “shopping” through all these cool little shoppes. I bought a beautiful pair of earrings that day. Then she bought me lunch at their restaurant, Archibald’s. Like Lori over at As The Fates Would Have It had mentioned in HER post, it was the gift of spending time with Linda that was so precious to me that day. And years later when you ask me what one of my most special birthday gifts was, I will STILL think of that day with Linda before anything else.
When it comes to BUYING gifts for friends, I literally suck! I am NOT a good gift buyer. As well as I know most of my good friends, I still have a hard time picking up on what a great gift for them would be. But having said that, there was one gift I bought that I fairly “shined” at. It was for Kim, my absolute best friend in all the world who lives in Australia. And I NEVER knew what to get her. So one year I gave her a STAR. No, SERIOUSLY! I gave her a REAL HONEST TO GOODNESS STAR named after her in the International Star Registry.
I named the star Iluviel, which in Tolkien’s elvish language, means Daughter of God, her username on the Elvenhome site where we met. Her packet came with a registered number for the star, a chart showing her where it was in the night sky, and I think a silver star with the information engraved on it if memory serves. AND I told her that was the LAST BIRTHDAY gift I would ever give her ’cause I just couldn’t top that! (Unless I could find the actual One Ring, which is highly unlikely!. 😀 )
So I don’t really give birthday gifts any more. I would rather see something that I know someone would love and just buy it when the mood hits and money permits. But the gift I’m always ready to give is a gift of my time. I don’t check my calendar, I’m just there at the end of the phone or at Starbucks for coffee, or (on occasion!) out for a drink! Time is the most precious thing any of us have because once spent, you can never get it back. So when someone gives you a gift of their time, you’ll know you’re truly loved.