My Beloved Family,
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Spending time with the people I love and enjoying conversation. Delicious food lovingly made by those who mean the most to me beautifully decorate tables. The delight on the children’s faces as they anticipate the upcoming holiday and listening to them wishfully tell Santa of their heart’s desires.
My least favorite part of the holidays, the part I bemoan, is the gift giving. Every year I struggle with trying to think of the perfect gift for each person and every year I fall entirely short. I spend time researching the “best gifts of the year” on the internet. I ask family members for ideas and scour the store for that special something. Every year I am ultimately disappointed and feel I have wasted my money, and more importantly, my time. Then we meet and exchange gifts. Each recipient graciously accepts the gift with a cheery face, but to me it all feels so empty, the exchanging of “things”. Finally, we all say our goodbyes and part from each other.
I leave each holiday party with a heart full of love and admiration for all the people in my life that I am fortunate to have around. I vow each year that I will spend more time with my family. Each year that is the same vow I break as life ”happens”…work, boy scouts, school committees, sports, illness, etc. seem to fill every nook and cranny of time I can find. Some days I am on the verge of a mental breakdown and if one more thing demanded my time I think I might just have a full blown nuclear mental meltdown.
This year and for all the years to come, the gift I am giving cannot be wrapped in beautiful paper, purchased in a store or found online rated as one of the “best gifts”. I am giving the gift of time. It is the most precious gift that I can think of. There is so very little of time to spare and once it has been spent you cannot get it back. I would much rather spend time with the people I so dearly love than at the store with hoards of strangers (sometimes rather unpleasant ones) searching for a gift that I know will merely be mediocre when I finally settle on some “thing”.
Life is such a precious gift, never lasting long enough. At every funeral I find myself with regret wishing I had spent more time with my loved one, wishing I had talked with them more and had really gotten to know them. This is the year I start living without that regret. I love you and I gift you time. Selfishly in return you gift me the greatest gift of all too, YOUR TIME.
All of my love now and forever,
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