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Spring tulips and other thoughtful things

April 7, 2013

Yesterday, I was having a bad day and my husband brought me these beautiful spring tulips. He’s not a flowers-guy (even on Valentine’s Day) and the thoughtful gesture really made me happy.

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The flowers — and the corresponding effect on my mood — got me thinking about thoughtful gestures. Here are some of my favorite things people have done for me:

1. Handwritten note.  A real birthday card is wonderful, but a just-thinking-of-you note on a random Tuesday is even better — especially in the era of email and texts. After a weekend visit, a great and thoughtful friend sent me a note with some kind words about our friendship and how nice it was to spend time together. Often those things are hard to say in person, but so nice to hear. Here’s some fun stationary. And some more.

2. Text.  (Wait – what, an impersonal text? After you just said ” the era of email and texts” in such a disparaging tone?) I find that an appropriately timed text is such a wonderful and immediate thinking-of-you gesture. It shows that the person is thinking of you right now as things are happening. Right before a big event, that little buzz in your pocket says someone’s there with you, even if they’re far away. A list of the top 50 texting lingo may be helpful in crafting or decoding your next text.

3. Unexpected gift.   A few months ago, we hosted a second birthday party for J and specifically requested that guests refrain from bringing gifts. One couple walked in with a gift — for me. They said that in the Korean culture, the child’s birthday can be considered Mother’s Day because it’s your anniversary of becoming a mother. It was a gift certificate for a much-needed me-time pedicure. What a treat.

4. Mother’s Day card for a new mom (or Father’s Day card for a new dad).  While we’re on the topic of Mother’s Day, receiving greeting cards (or calls or texts) from friends and family on my first-ever Mother’s Day meant so much. As the years go on, that will be J’s day for me. But that first one is so significant; having others acknowledge that significance made me smile.  And here’s an irreverent Mother’s Day card that made me laugh.

5. Anything home-made (especially if it’s not your forte).  I’ll always remember the meal my husband made for my birthday the first year we were together. The steak was a little burnt and the cake absolutely collapsed in the middle — a mid-plate crater. But he made a cake for me. These cakes look lovely for special occasions (and will taste good whether they stay upright or not.)

The common theme? All completely unexpected gestures.

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