What I don't know if my friends even realize is that it's not the gifts they give that I truly appreciate (although of course I do), it's what their gifts say to me about how they see me that is my favorite part.
A friend gave me two tickets to any production at Barksdale. Upon seeing the two, I made a joke about such optimism (like I'm going to be able to scare up a date for the theater?). "Well, you'd be just as happy seeing two plays by yourself anyway," she said. "So shut up." Nothing I can say to that argument.
From a long-time friend I got a gift certificate to Chop Suey. Since you get to choose the paperback cover that the gift certificate comes on, she'd specifically chosen Dickens' Hard Times, knowing I'd get a kick out of the reference.
After all the conversations we've had about my hard times of the past two years, it felt like an inside joke. Besides, she assured me that 2011 will be much better for me and I believe her. They don't call me Pollyanna for nothing.
As much as I love collecting local art, I couldn't have been more thrilled to receive a piece by a a little known Richmond calligrapher from a friend. I told him that for me, the true pleasure comes with deciding where to hang it. Maybe near the Adam Juresko? Or over the Chris Milk Hulbert? This may take an enjoyable while, deciding where its place of honor will be.
Then there was one of my favorite musicians and conversationalists, who gave me a digital holiday present, an end-of-the-year mix featuring some of his favorite music of 2010 and a brand new song of his. I wasn't surprised at Spoon or The Books (he knows I will always give him crap for going to see The Books without me), but Benoit Pioulard and Marni Stern? Be still my musical heart.
One of my very favorite people in the entire world gave me a book called Bad Girls: The Most Powerful, Shocking, Amazing, Thrilling and Dangerous Women of All Time. As a huge fan of non-fiction, I know it'll be right up my alley. Even better was the inscription:
To my favorite "bad girl" - Keep up the good work! Love you with all my heart!
That's the kind of Christmas gift that makes a girl feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Even a bad girl.