Some time ago, I was reading my friend Susan’s blog in which she had written eloquently on the subject of gift giving. (Visit The Grand Duchy of Susania to read said post.) The part that stuck with me most was this:

A perfect gift is more than a tangible Thing; it’s also the implication that the Giver truly knows your heart, and made a real effort to bring you joy.

From an existential point of view, the implication is that giving gifts makes us feel known, cared for, and ultimately less alone.

Before the season of shopping and gift giving hits us fully, I want to say an early thank you to friends and family, for knowing my heart, for the all the many ways you demonstrate that, and for the real efforts we make to bring one another joy.