Gifts come in all shapes and sizes.

Wrapping paper, ribbons and bows add pizzazz.

But not all gifts need to be wrapped, or can be wrapped.

This past weekend a childhood friend and her husband hosted a holiday dinner party at their new home.

It is a beautiful house and was decorated tastefully for Christmas.

Outside, the reflection of colored lights on shrubs glistened on the remaining ice on the driveway.

Inside, elegant lights and glass ball ornaments of varying lengths hung down across the length of the large bay window in the dining room.

A spread of homemade appetizers filled the nearby table, where guests mingled and poured their beverages.

A tree decorated with homemade paper snowflakes added even more character to the already charming music room across the hall.

In the spacious kitchen, guests nibbled on more appetizers laid out on the island counter, while others reminisced near a large table adorned with a seasonal tablecloth on which sat chafing dishes filled with delicious food.

In the next room, more guests shared stories and warmed up near the fire in the fireplace. The lights on a second Christmas tree twinkled.

Joy abounded throughout the house.

Being in a home filled with love and connecting with individuals — some I knew and others I met or got to know better that evening — was a gift.

Although beautiful and appreciated, no amount of holiday decorations or tasty food can dress up the gift of time with people with whom one finds value.

My friend felt it too.

Before I left that night, I was part of a small group with whom she shared that she felt the evening was the best gift she could have received for the holiday.

Is there a better gift than that — to spend time with those who mean the most?

Some gifts cannot be wrapped. They are felt.

Deborah Rose is a lifelong New Milford resident who has worked at The Spectrum since its inception in 1998. She can be reached by email at