I’ve found myself tired of gifts.

I didn’t think I’d ever find myself saying those words. Let’s be real, who is actually tired of gifts?

A couple days ago I was out with a friend and I found myself explaining to him that I didn’t really enjoy giving or receiving gifts. But deep down it felt so wrong to say that. How could I not enjoy giving or receiving gifts? He even questioned me further.

I listened to myself explaining to him that during the holiday season I felt pressured to find people the perfect gift and sometimes I felt pressured to buy a “quickie gift”, in other words, a speedy gift purchase that is not well thought out but good enough to please the receiver. Deep down I hate quickie gifts because they seem so inauthentic. I want gifts to be magical… I want gifts to pop out at you and say, “Hey this would be perfect for your mother!” I want to stumble upon something at any time of the year and just give it to that person because I thought of them.

But perhaps my real problem is that I’m just a procrastinator. I want to find the perfect gift… but on my time schedule.

Even if that’s true, I still think my point is valid.

The next day I received a package in the mail. It was a large yellow Amazon bag. Inside was a set of silicone ice cube trays. The ice cube trays came with a gift receipt but I couldn’t tell who it was from. I stood confused and decided to resort to Facebook to share my odd experience. I snapped a photo of my ice cube trays and comically wrote that Amazon sent me a gift in the mail and it was actually something I needed.

I received several comments, one being that this could be an e-commerce scam called “brushing” where overseas sellers purchase their own products through fake buyer accounts and ship them to random addresses in the U.S. to build verified purchaser reviews.

A few hours later, I received another comment. It was my best friend Maria who said that she was the one who sent me the gift. It turns out it was kind of an inside joke. A couple weeks ago Maria was in town from Florida and needed a place to stay. She spent the night but had noticed that I didn’t have ice cube trays. I laughed it off and still forgot to purchase ice cube trays.

Maria, however, remembers everything and took it as an opportunity to give me the perfect gift for Christmas.

Now even though it’s kind of a silly gift, it’s the kind of gift that I want for Christmas – to be reminded that I’m thought of.

It’s so simple, but so strong. To be thought of.

Later that evening, I had dinner with my dad and my grandma.

Finding a gift for my dad is never easy. Usually we exchange wish lists and pick something from each others lists to give.

This year we did the same thing and that’s okay. But I realized that night that he already gave me the perfect gift.

It was the gift of building our connection. See, my dad and I are a lot alike but when I was younger I didn’t know that. I denied that we shared much in common.

And that night I realized that we shared a lot in common. Mostly that he has a green thumb and that I have a growing fondness for tea. I love tea so much that I actually want to learn how to grow and harvest my own tea leaves and that is something that we can share together.

I’m no longer tired of gifts, but I have a new appreciation for them.

So this Christmas, if you are a little tired of gifts, know that some people just want to be thought of and some people just want to foster a connection. If you reach out, sometimes that’s all they need.