Christmas has passed. Yes, I am aware. I still must tell you how it passed for me. I have told you all before: I don’t celebrate Christmas – or, any other religious holiday, for that matter. I do take, however, special pleasure in my friends’ celebrations of any holiday, including those of religious nature. Enough on my disclaimer (repeated, at that). This post is about a friend who is an extra special person in my life, who – this Christmas – made my entire year. What was different this year? Nothing. It was again with her most generous spirit that she showered me with her thoughtful, carefully selected elegant and heart-warming cards (yes, in the plural – she never misses any special day for me) but also luscious gifts, gift-wrapped to transform me to a fairy-tale setting. And, it all happened, when I came home for a very little time during my semester break, which I was spending at my daughter’s place -24/7, because I was helping out the new parents as soon as my one and only had given birth. It was an icy night, all of my lights were out, a huge white bag was sitting at the entry door (just like she had told me before leaving to her trip). My living room felt as cold as the outside. Everything was how I left it with my daughter – on her way to the hospital due to complications that developed in the last leg of her pregnancy. So, a touchable feeling of emptiness, as you can imagine, came over me. Then, I opened her gift bag (before hitting my closet to pick up some fresh clothes to take back so that I won’t reek for my cute little roommate, a.k.a. my newly born grandson…): if there is magic, magic happened to me! I am not talking about material goods here. How my sweet friend wrapped every one of her gifts were so colorful and warming, I sat there for a while, read all her loving and caring words and wishes and hopes, placed them on my coffee table (nothing in my home looked like this was a special time of the year – I make a big deal of my new year’s decorations, by the way…) – so bland, so boring, so routine, so colorless. Her touch made it all sparkle. Only this Friday, I had the heart of putting them away and only because my house had to undergo a major cleaning process…after being neglected for very long). Thank you, my dear thoughtful friend! You know who you are, so I am not going to disrespect your privacy, nor will I disregard your impeccable sense of modesty by saying your name. But please know through my public words how much I appreciate your friendship, in what depth my gratitude is for you. You are remarkable. Thank you for sharing yourself with me more than I believe to deserve. Thank you for your gift of love. Happy 2014 to you in every aspect of your life!