Appreciating Friendship: How To Say Thank You

Friendship comes in all kinds of packages.  The deep and lasting friendships that begin in junior school and extend into old age are rare indeed and often punctuated with quarrels and clashes of opinion over the years.  Friendship can evolve over a long period of time from being the giggling trio in the tree house to being companions in the care home.  Friends do not always get along and why should they?  The deepest friendships might be peppered with disagreements and squabbles, some of which are never quite resolved; both parties agreeing to disagree rather than dissolve a precious link as friends.

In country communities where there are few modern distractions and entertainments, friends share a social life of deeper intensity than city dwellers but tend to have fewer opportunities for leisure.  Friendship is therefore expressed in more practical ways.  A farmer might take over a sick friend’s chores; his wife might take care of her friend’s children as a gesture of friendship; friends who have suffered bereavement or be ill might be visited by friends bringing gifts of food.  Unfortunately, not a great deal of hugging and kissing goes on in these rustic communities; friendship is just not demonstrated that way.

Showing a friend you care need not cost much – in fact, it need not cost anything at all!  Women tend to have a better concept of how to express friendship than men, probably because they tend to be more emotionally charged where their friends are concerned.  A woman might vacuum the rugs or wash the dishes for a friend who has just had a baby or be overloaded at work – and these thoughtful rituals might just as easily be reciprocated in a companionable ‘you scratch my back and I will scratch yours’ give and take.  But isn’t this what friendship should be?  A two way exchange of consideration that benefits both…

At special times of the year and even for no particular reason, giving a friend a thoughtful friendship gift can mean a great deal.  Friendship thrives on consideration and companionship and cannot be expected to run forever on the occasional Christmas or birthday card.

In the holiday season as we shop for gifts to bring a smile to the face of a good friend, giving a meaningful and less costly gift, especially a gift that may be kept and treasured forever, will spread a little magic around and bring a sparkle to the occasion.

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