When I was 11 my grandma gave me a white wooden trashcan and in it a set of Pottery Barn Teen sheets… for my birthday. Sometime after that, she gave me a fuzzy blue blanket… as a Christmas gift. And when I was in college she gave me a down pillow… another Christmas gift.
I was shocked and angry that my grandma would buy me such boring gifts. "These aren't gifts, they are things you buy because you need them, not presents!" I remember saying to my mom when I opened the trash can.
In all the times I have moved, these "presents" have come with me. Every time I walk into my bathroom I see my little wooden white trashcan. Every time I sit on my couch I cover up with my blue fuzzy blanket. And every night when I get into bed I lay my head on my fluffy down pillow.
My grandma heard me saying I wanted to re-do my room but knew we couldn't. She heard me say I loved her red fuzzy blanket, and I needed a new pillow. She bought these gifts because she was listening. Not super sexy gifts but gifts that have been around way longer than my name-brand-sweater-obsession lasted.
Gifts are a love language. There are generic gifts that say nothing, sexy gifts that say I read your list and surprise gifts you don't even know you want that say I am listening.
Maybe I am thinking about it all wrong. Maybe a trash can, sheets, a blanket, and a pillow are really the sexy gifts because they are gifts that say I heard YOU. Which is different than I heard your list. Being heard makes me feel valued and being REALLY heard makes me feel loved.
As I move into a season of giving, a time we are given to show that we love each other, I am remembering to listen. To really listen because maybe you say you want a nice bag but what you really want is being said between the lines. Maybe you don't even know, I had no clue I wanted a blue fuzzy blanket but every time I curl up in it, I feel loved and I want to give you love too.