What would life be without the people we call our friends, the people we share all our ups and downs, who share our laughter and our tears?
Wanting to express our feelings of friendship to the people we care deeply about is an important part of strengthening our relationships.
Whether for a birthday, Christmas or 'just because' - we want our gift to be personal and to express our gratitude for the friendship and the appreciation of our friend or family member.
Tea Lover: T(ea)-L-C
Get a nice teapot, a box or basket and fill it with high-quality teas, some honey and a couple of fresh lemons to offer a little TLC to whoever is going through a rough patch. A very simple but lovely way to say "Hope you feel better soon!".
Animal Lover: Adopt An Animal
A great gift for all animal lovers: organizations like the WWF (www.worldwildlife.org) offer the chance to 'adopt' an animal. You usually get a certificate, a photograph and a plush toy as part of the adoption. Prices vary, depending on the type of animal you choose to adopt. Alternatively, check with your local zoo.
This gift will be extra special if you add a personal message that relates the recipient to an attribute of the animal you have chosen: "I know you are having a hard time right now, but keep going - you are strong as a bear!". If you have a special nickname for the recipient your message could also be something like "For my little monkey / tiger / etc.".
Scrapbook: Book of Honor
Mark a special occasion or milestone by creating a personal scrapbook for the recipient. Get the whole family or a group of friends to participate and ask each of them to fill a couple of pages with their best wishes and personal memories, including photographs and other small items, to create a truly unique gift.
Because it blossoms early and lasts many weeks, the plum is a symbol of longevity and friendship.
A popular symbol for faith and friendship.
Serving tea is a time-honoured symbol of friendship. The Chinese ceremonial tea was established as a time to set aside conflicts and come to peace with one's self, as well as with one another.
A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another.
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.