Gift season has arrived. Every gift is a generous, kind act, but now and then, there are gifts that take our breath away. Sometimes it’s the grand scale or overwhelming surprise, but more often it's simply the realization that someone knows you so well that they found the perfect thing, something you didn’t even know existed until you unwrapped it.

Of course, getting someone what they ask for (or strongly hint at for months) is great fun, too. But it’s thrilling to introduce them to something unexpected.

The best presents are introductions, and the best introductions are gifts.

I recently stumbled upon two one-of-a-kind projects—a crowdfunded roleplaying game about language and a musical time machine that plays songs by country and decade. In each case, I thought of friends who were perfectly suited for such things. So much so that I hesitated to tell them in case I was embarrassingly late to the party. I led with caution—“I’m sure you’ve seen this, but just in case…”

But they hadn’t! They were thrilled and grateful for the discoveries. I hadn’t spent money or wrapped a thing, and yet it felt as good as giving a gift.

I still remember the professor that introduced me to the philosopher I’ve been reading ever since, the friend who pointed me to these amazing pens, and the album review that made me listen to Leonard Cohen for the first time.

Even better are those unforgettable introductions to new friends, coworkers, and love interests. How many of our treasured relationships wouldn’t exist without a well-timed nudge from someone who saw a possible match that no one else did?

May you enjoy the thrill of introducing others to undiscovered gems, favorite spots, and friends who will become part of their unfolding story.

And may others do the same for you.