Let's face it, not all holiday gifts are created equal. Anyone who has spent the last month hunting down the just-right sweater or book or tablet or nail gun or gold chain knows that the difference between what you're seeing and what you really want to buy can be a mile wide.
The same is true of words. As you catch up with friends at holiday parties on in an annual letter, it can feel like the right words are as impossible to get hold of as that last pair of socks or decadent chocolate bar or rare sea salt that's on your shopping list.
So take a minute now, as we transition from shopping to celebrating, to notice and enjoy the words you already have, the words you've taken the trouble to learn, and the words you actually use. Do you love the waltz-like grace of chimerical? The straightforward heft of a hew or a plumb? The clubby exclusivity of equipotent or autochthonous? Or words like imagine, spark, and illuminate, that serve as touchstones to remind you of what we most want to be and do?
And then, rather than burdening your nearest and dearest with yet another panic-grab reindeer sweater vest, why not wrap up one of the words that are special to you and share that? A word can spark a conversation, remind us of a shared happiness, console a grieving heart, entice us with thoughts of future pleasure. All you need is some tinsel, a gift box, stationery, and your favorite pen to offer your beloved a point of meditation or a reminder that these holidays are all about making connections with each other and speaking back to the encroaching darkness with candlelight, merriment, and love.
Some words — indeed many — are worthy of the honor.
Stumped for a good one? Check out this list of Gift-Worthy Words related to uplift, elucidation, and light. And remember, the Vocabulary.com word store (otherwise known as our Dictionary) is open 24/7, including on Christmas Day.