Sunday, November 23, 2008

Group Gifts

I am turning 40 next month. This is a time of potential trauma for anyone, but a close circle of friends have already set me off on the best foot possible by making a Pre-emptive Birthday Strike.

I have been celebrating birthdays with these "Sisters" of mine for about a decade now, and these celebrations have followed a predictable pattern; dinner, cards, and little presents. But this year they decided to do something different to commemorate this landmark birthday. They all chipped in and got me a beautiful necklace, set with my birthstone.

This was, in every way, ideal for me; I am trying to scale back on the amount of stuff I have in my house and I love blue topazes/aquamarines. It was literally the smallest present they could have gotten me, but was so much more special than an array of tokens like notecards, books, and candles (useful as they are!)

This is a gift that has the weight of 5 people behind it - their combined affection, and wish to commemorate this significant birthday. It's not the money spent that makes it more valuable, but the fact that they combined to give it. There's an old proverb that individual strands of a robe can be easily broken, but when combined together, are almost impossible to break. In that sense, this necklace will always have an added dimension of strength and love for me.

I suspect that most of us find it easier to go ahead and get a present on our own; but how much more valued and memorable a present can be when it is the result of several people's time and money!

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