There are presents and there are gifts.
While these two words are technically synonyms, their unique roots are a clue to the subtle difference between them. One is something “to present,” an object that says something about the giver, while the other “gives” the receiver something. A gift becomes a part of the recipient’s life. There are so many different kinds of genuine and meaningful gifts—piano lessons, roadside assistance membership, or the gift of comfort.
A true story—my daughter, Emma is a nurse practitioner and knows what it’s like to be on her feet for 12 hours at a time. She’s married to E.J., a newly-minted M.D. in the Sacramento area who tallies 100+ hours per week, often 24 hours at a time. When he begins his day at 3 A.M. and laces up the Hubbards (Tipping Point and Founder) that she has gifted him the last two Christmases, he is experiencing a gift that keeps on giving.
He’s in a white-collar-meets-blue-collar role in a sense. He’s standing and walking every day for long stretches at a time. He works with his hands. It’s physically and mentally draining. He gives his patients confidence. He proves himself to fellow physicians. Feeling comfortable and professional in his own shoes while accomplishing all of this is essential. E.J. says that, “every morning when I tie them, I think about how grateful I am for this gift. My feet are one less thing I have to think about, and I can concentrate on caring for patients.”
As a parent and a parent-in-law, here’s my takeaway: give the gift of comfort. It never fails. Even if you don’t know the size of someone on your list, which shoes they’d choose, or which color they want. It’s okay. A gift certificate is always the right color, size and style. If you want them to be able to open something on the big day, then you can do some spy work. Figure out their size and guess the style. They’ll appreciate the hustle and from experience, returns and exchanges at Hubbard are crazy quick and super easy.
Try giving the gift that gives every day, all year long. Give the gift of comfort.