I've had a moment of clarity this Christmas season that I hesitantly want to share with you all.
I spent all the years longing for the perfect presents, the trending name brand, the coolest toys, the things everyone else would get, but also the best unique gift.
Lately, I realize I've shifted. When people ask me for Christmas ideas, I struggle.
Not because I don't want things, but because deep down, I long for more, and I'm not sure how to put it on a list.
I genuinely love to spend significant time planning and dreaming up gift ideas for people because as I grow older, it's becoming more apparent that the perfect gift is not something you can google. It's the gift that makes the other person feel known and seen. It's taking the time to be curious about someone and pay attention long before December: To notice the thing that causes their attention to linger and their eyes to light up.
Being known has always been a tender spot in my heart. It's an unfortunate thing to long for because it requires being wide-open vulnerably. It's trusting that someone you love will love you intentionally.
It's hoping they aren't too busy or distracted. It's hoping for more than good intentions. It's a big ask.
One of my besties loved me this year, and I want to be openly grateful. In April, we went on a girls' trip. One of the restaurants had a fantastic sugar scrub in the bathroom. I went to the bathroom three times that night and only had to go potty once. I was obsessed with the scent and the way this particular scrub left my hands the softest they had been in years. I went to the gift shop and left with sticker shock and the practical decision to head to TJMaxx and buy a reasonably priced one.
My friend, Tammy SAW. She snuck back in to buy it and has held on to that thoughtful gift for eight months. When I opened it, I almost cried. I felt known. It was the gift of tender friendship, and I am grateful. I hope your people loved you intentionally this year.
I hope you surprised the people in your life with creative thoughtfulness that flowed out of love and generosity, not stress and expectation. If not, it's a beautiful thing to write in a dream cloud for next year.
What a beautiful gift it is to slow down and pay attention.