Gifts are always nice, that’s why we like Christmas and birthdays and other anniversaries… but surprise and unexpected generosity is heart-warming and wonderful.

Just recently I was shown appreciation for something which I had done willingly and had really enjoyed doing. Some time ago, I’d been able to help someone in what I considered a small way and which had really been interesting and a pleasure to do. The person was most appreciative, and thanked me – I in turn thanked them because I’d been given an insight into something, and had learned a lot by working with them. I felt I had gained a friend, not just an acquaintance and looked forward to meeting them again socially.

Much to my surprise, some time after I had helped them, I was given a thank-you gift! Obviously I was delighted, but also I was very touched by the kindness and thoughtfulness.

It really made me reflect on showing appreciation; I hope I do thank people properly, but I shall be more aware of it in future, thanks to my very kind friend.

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