One of the best - and most memorable - gifts that I have ever received was on my most recent vacation. A friend, whose life seems to be filled to the brim with family and work and activities, gave me the gift of time. She took me out for a leisurely Sunday brunch, during which we talked about those things that are most important to us.

The keys to this being a memorable and loving gift were: we were completely relaxed, unhurried, and I felt like we could spend as much time as we liked; and we talked about things that are more signifcant to us than the superficial aspects of our lives. This brings home the idea that taking the time to spend with a friend is truly a valued gift, one with soul value.