It feels really weird typing that to be honest, because I don't mean it like, ohmygod it's my birthday week and I'm so special! I'm just acknowledging my feelings as of late, particularly since I've returned from Europe.
The day I came home I had an early birthday present waiting for me. It was a beautiful gold necklace with a charm of Los Angeles, from one of my best friends, Kelly. You never gift jewelry, I texted her. Only for special occasions, she replied. She didn't know I had been wanting that same necklace for quite some time, which was the best part. It totally reminded me of you, she said.
The next day, I was on the phone with my mom and heard a knock at the door. UPS Delivery for Krista! I was in receipt of a massive package, which, if I'm being completely honest, made me nervous. It was so big! (SO big! Where can I put whatever this is?! Will I like it?) My nerves quickly disappeared as I tore off the packaging and discovered the best birthday present I have ever received.
My mother and sister had apparently been stalking my friends for the last handful of months - both East and West Coast friends - to contribute to this ridiculously thoughtful gift. (If you look closely, there are significant details crafted into each letter: photos, postcards, colors, materials used for the letters, all with special meaning behind them. It's unbelievable.)
Every day since then I've gotten an early birthday gift, which has been...almost overwhelming. My mother joked that it was like Hanukkah; eight nights and days of Krista's birthday. From the gentleman who owns the print shop on my block (wine), to work clients (flowers), to Capital One (yes, the credit card company - flowers), to my close friends and family (jewelry, luxury skincare products, champagne, dinner dates, you name it), the people in my life have simply blown me away with their thought and generosity. It is most certainly not about presents; it's about presence. I've never been so grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life as I have this past year. I'm not sure what I did to deserve them, but they're the best gifts of all.