First Words — 06 December 2014
The best gifts are not aways tied up in bows

By Mark Gauert

After they received their medals from France last summer for their roles in the Liberation, after sodas and sheet cake to celebrate aboard the USS New York, I shared an elevator at Port Everglades with one of the heroes of D-Day from South Florida.

“I wanted to thank you personally, too,” I said. “Without you all, I might never have met my wife, who is from France.”

“I hope you’re happy,” he said, as the doors closed.

“Yes,” I said. “Very happy.”

He smiled on the way up, and looked up at me from his wheelchair as the doors opened.

“Well,” he said, “I guess I did something right.”

Another gift, I thought, from the greatest generation.

Now we are in a great season of gift giving, and we’re happy to share our annual gift guide with you this issue. Our writers have been busy putting together lists of 12 suggestions for him, for her, and for either. We talked with designers about creating happy holiday home décor, with David Raterman about some wonderful winter retreats, with Bob Hosmon about wines to give as gifts when the year has been very (very) good and with Dining Writer Rebecca Cahilly, about restaurants that will see to every holiday table detail – including the dishes.

But I hope you’ll also look back and find at least one moment of your own to hold onto from this year to the next – like mine last summer in an elevator to the garage at Port Everglades.

The best gifts are not always tied up in bows.

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