I learned when I asked a few of my friends about the kinds of gifts they love best to give, that –
- these people are more amazing than I even thought
- I have excellent taste in friends.
- I am an impoverished giver…but I have some great teachers.
This was such a fun question to ask, just wait until you try it 🙂
Their answers fell into a few categories, but some of my friend’s gifts were out-of-the-box insane. I want to tell you, too, that they gushed. I asked for one answer and all of them gave me multiples, which just tells me that people who are tapping into the power of generous living are really having a blast!
- Gatherings thrown for people who truly appreciate them. Big decade birthdays where friends were secretly flown in, video messages compiled, and scrapbooks painstakingly milled together from lifetimes of love.
- Trips. Disney, skiing, and a cruise – memories together that are timeless.
- Ordinary pockets of time away with people I love, especially when extra special splurges are sprung.
- The donation of a deep bore well dug in India in honor of the recipient presented with a map and specs and pictures/video of the well dedication.
- Our baby to my husband.
Some people, right!?
I love folks that are so amazing at gift giving that it’s their favorite. I am in awe of them, and because of my pride, I have often been stifled from creating better acts of celebration by the great gift givers around me . I’ve wanted to say, please stop – this is embarrassing.
Instead of being humbled that these types of phenomenal ideas have not come naturally to me, now I take notes.
But sometimes I get inspired. I got to give my reconditioned acoustic Yamaha guitar to my translator friend in Rwanda a year after we first met. Patrick gave me my name, Mbabazi (compassion). But I’m terrible at surprises, so springing this on him literally took a village, considering I had an object the size of a five year old to camouflage. It was a priceless moment. All he could say was, “I’ve been saving for so long.”
Sometimes the best gift we’ve ever given is one we can’t speak of, though. Like bedside handholding at the end of life. Something that’s privately precise in its genius. I hope you have had those gift-giving moments, and that one sparkles to memory even right now. That’s the feeling you’re going for. Every time. When you get it right, it really is better to give than to receive.
Receiving still rocks, though! The cycle is a bonding experience. I love remembering the first gifts I’ve ever given a friend, too, when both of us were quietly wondering, “Can I just do something nice for you?”
Asking your friends about the best gifts they’ve ever given can be great fertilizer for the garden of your own ideas. And, why not watch for the types of things that mean the most to her while she tells you all about it? Keep that treasure in your back pocket for when her birthday rolls around, wink-wink.
Did you miss a question or two in the series? Just head over to the main topic page for #CultivateCourageous.