This will be an interesting holiday season. Maybe the first for many of us to be focused more on the reasons why we celebrate than on the outward trappings of the holidays. Maybe that is a gift in itself.
The best gifts I receive come in the form of time. My sister and daughter-in-law have both spent time with me recently and we all know how precious time is in all our lives. It is the one commodity that cannot be replenished.
The loved ones who invite me to their homes and come to mine on holidays are bringing me the best gifts, whether there is anything wrapped or not. The older we get, the more we realize the value in this kind of gift.
Most everyone felt fairly well off a year ago but weren't quite as aware of their blessings as we all are now. Last year I was thinking how nice it would be to have a place on the water. This year I am very thankful for my wonderful home among fantastic neighbors. Last year I was delighted at how much value it had gained. This year I am thrilled that it is still worth more than we owe. We have not added any rooms, but our home seems bigger now.
It is a great feeling
to be able to afford an expensive gift which
someone really hopes to receive. But some budgets
are better suited to a small ornament,
hand-delivered with a visit.
When we shop for gifts this year, we are more apt than ever to patronize our neighbors, who appreciate us more than the big corporations, and that is a good thing. We are also more apt to think about what the receiver might need and want. A teacher may have 14 ceramic apples but few gift certificates to a family-owned restaurant or shop.
Grandchildren might love music or dance lessons or need tutoring. These are wonderful gifts that parents might not be providing right now. Your grandmother or elderly neighbor might treasure some handyman services. And remember how very much charities need help now. The rich aunt who has everything can be remembered with a donation in her honor.
It is a great feeling to be able to afford an expensive gift which someone really hopes to receive. But some budgets are better suited to a small ornament, hand-delivered with a visit. Whatever gift we choose to bestow on those we love, when given with joy in the true spirit of the season, is priceless to the receiver.
May you be surrounded by family and friends celebrating blessings in this wonderful season of love.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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