I’ve just received a gift, one that is thoughtful and beautifully wrapped. I will enjoy this gift for a long time, perhaps the rest of my life. It is my size, my color, my taste, my aesthetic. It will be useful, beautiful, practical. This gift tells me I am appreciated, loved, celebrated.
Let’s work backward now and retrace the steps of the gift giver, starting with the fact that the she had to ship my gift to me. This isn’t true of every gift I receive, but it is true for most of them. (After a fairly recent cross-country move, most of my closest peeps are many miles away.) This means the gift giver had to find a box, pack the gift snugly so it wouldn’t get damaged, create a shipping label, and take it to the post office.
Before that, the gift giver had to wrap the present. She had to cut the paper just the right size and carefully tape it around the gift. This was done with pretty paper, a nice ribbon, a cute tag, and a card.
Before all of this, she had to find the gift. Perhaps this was done online, maybe it was at an actual store. Either way, she spent time and effort looking for something just for me, something that let me know she sees me, knows me, cares about me.
When I look at all that effort, and consider the time spent in service to providing me with a thoughtful gift, sending a handwritten thank you note is the least I can do. With that, it is my hope I can offer a similar message to my gift giver: I see you, I appreciate you, I do not take your kindness for granted.