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Here we are in the season of giving. It can be easy to get caught up in the commercials and massive sales that go on this time of year — you’d be forgiven for thinking the holidays are all about spending money. But for me, the best gifts aren’t really defined by a dollar value. In fact, as my own team here at the firm has shown me, the best gifts say something about the person you’re giving them to. You see, we have a long-standing holiday tradition here at the firm. We have a party where we all go out to dinner together with our families. It’s a great time to come together and let our proverbial hair down after the stress of the end-of-year crunch. But, before we head out to that dinner and wrap things up here at the office, we take the time to exchange presents with one another. Time and time again, my team has really taken my breath away with the thoughtful gifts they found for me. For example, we now have an ice maker here at the office. I drink a lot of fluids throughout the day, and the rest of the firm picked up on it. So last year, they got me this portable ice maker, which I found uniquely thoughtful. They recognized a need I had and found a way to help. Now we keep it in our kitchen area so anyone who needs to add a few ice cubes to their glass or water bottle can do so. I, for one, have gotten a lot of mileage out of this one present. Another year, they got me tickets to a Sixers game, which was incredibly touching. They recognized my love of basketball, and of Philly sports in general, and gave me an incredible memory I won’t forget. It just goes to show that when you’re shopping for a person, whether you get them a physical object or an experience, it’s best to make sure the gift reflects them. This is about more than giving gifts someone would use often or even cherish. It’s about the added message that dawns on a person when they receive something that really speaks to them. It makes you feel seen and appreciated. It tells you the person giving you the gift really took the time to get to know you, and then they spent the effort to find the right way to express that relationship. Those feelings of appreciation are truly priceless. WHAT’S IN A GIFT?
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So, don’t get caught up chasing dollar signs this holiday season. If you can find a small gift that says a lot about your relationship with that person, then that’s the way to go. The gesture just might mean the world to them. I want to close by thanking my firm one last time. In what has been a difficult year for my daughter and me, I’m more grateful than ever for the love and support of my work family here at the office. Thanks to their support and the support of many others, we’ve weathered a very personal tragedy. To all of you who’ve been there, thank you. Friends like you are the best gifts anyone can ask for. –Paul H. Young
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