Earlier this year I got to be friends with a sweet lady from North-Carolina. Our paths somehow crossed through Quora.

She knows I study the American Civil War, and that I would like to visit Richmond, Virginia, the city that was the capital of the Confederacy.

On Thursday my wife fished a brochure out of our mail box, sent over all the way from… the US. A brochure for people visiting Richmond. The shipping alone cost something like 12 dollars.

In the picture you see my wife posing with it, standing next to some Civil War books.

Isn’t that incredibly thoughtful?

I hate to admit it, but this is not very common in Europe.

Worse, when I bring small gifts to people in Europe I’m often asked not to do it. Not because people try to be polite, but because they genuinly don’t see the point of giving gifts, outside of your own family.

I keep doing it anyway, I like spreading joy, and when I have some gift for my students, my step towards the classroom is lighter.