Image representing Bill Gates as depicted in C...

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Growing up my mom was always SUPER opposed to gift cards. Terribly inconvenient when you’re 14, going to a birthday party nearly every weekend, and you aren’t even that great of friends with the birthday boy/girl. It’s always awkward when you give some pseudo-friend an artistic necklace that their face immediately reads as “weird” before they throw out an obligatory thanks to get to the next card of cash. Thanks, Mom.

I always thought my mom was being persnickety, but as with many things in life, it turns out she’s right.

Great gifts can change your life.

Mine was forever bettered by a typewriter, a grant for my gifted class from Bill Gates, and a sewing machine. The stories on each are a bit long-winded, so suffice to say that they each fostered a passion in me (my love of practical arts and applications) and gave me an outlet for self-expression at a young age.

Sometimes it takes being introduced to something outside of yourself to discover new interests. For me, receiving an unexpected tool with no instructions always drove me to play and test. These gifts nurtured life-long passions for great stories, new technology and design. Because what I was given was an experience. An opportunity to create. Almost 15 years later and I’m still addicted to that feeling.

Now, I constantly sign up for beta versions to test new web applications and can’t be found with less than 3 devices, which keep me in touch with friends on 4 continents. My notebooks are full of sketches for new ensembles and my closet is populated with staples, contemporary designers and mb originals. But perhaps, the most enriching is the story. It’s the one that I share with friends over good food at the end of a busy week. It’s the way we communicate our client’s unique product offering, its importance to the healthcare community, and the opportunity to investors. It’s the one I’ll tell my grandchildren about when they’re rolling their eyes and drooling over Megan Fox (she’s a robot and therefore will be hot forever).

Be good to the ones you love. Spare them the gift card … I’ve never known $34 to Boston Market to change anyone’s life (except for the homeless, in which case a much better donation than cash). And if you’re unsure about what would be a great gift for someone, think of something you love. Think of something that has gotten you through rough times or revealed new truths. And then, instead of squirreling it away for memories’ sake, give it away.