In "I Want a Birthday Party," Julie expresses surprise, and even some envy at Annie receiving gifts "Just Because." Annie's Uncle Gordon sends her dolls from all over the world without any reason - just because. I was eager to incorporate this experience into Annie's story because they are some of my fondest memories from childhood.
My father was known for returning home with small gifts and unexpected tokens of his love for our family. Rather than limiting gift-giving to special occasions like birthdays and holidays, he was known for his spontaneous "just because" presents. True to their name, these gifts were given without a specific reason or celebration, making them all the more special and meaningful.
As someone who places great value on family and connections, I recognized that "just because" presents would beautifully illustrate the strong relationships and genuine connections within Annie's family. While the dolls Uncle Gordon sent were nice, I believe the handwritten note was the true gift.
I advocate for everyone to adopt the habit of giving "just because" gifts as it adds a delightful touch to relationships, infusing them with joy. These need not be extravagant presents; something as simple as a wildflower, a warm smile, or a handwritten note can carry significant meaning. The true value lies in the personal touch and heartfelt sentiment behind the gesture.
By embracing the practice of giving gifts without specific occasions, we break free from the formalities that often govern gift-giving. This, in turn, has the potential to create genuine and enduring impacts on our connections with others. It's an invitation to step away from routine and find unexpected ways to express appreciation and affection for our loved ones, fostering the creation of lasting memories.
Even after my father has since passed away, I still hold dear the memories created through these spontaneous expressions of love. They serve as a testament to the timeless impact of thoughtful gestures, reminding us that the most cherished moments often arise from the simplest acts of kindness.