Time is a Gift

How many times have I wrapped up yet another sweater or book that was carefully chosen as a gift for a loved one and felt somehow that I was getting it all wrong? Not that my husband wouldn’t like the color of the sweater, or my friend would find the book dull, but the idea of a real gift was somehow lost by the ordinariness of just buying something. Sometimes I made things, knit, sewn or cooked by my own hands, yet still it was just something that eventually made it to the back reaches of drawers or cupboards, mostly forgotten, even if much appreciated. In this crazy world we live in, hamstrung by work, family and money obligations, the most valuable currency we have is that of time. Spending the equivalent of a day’s wages on a gift may mean a big financial sacrifice, but taking the day off to celebrate love, rekindle friendship, to laugh and to connect in person with the people who matter most is usually an even bigger challenge. I decided that I wanted to find time instead […]
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More than Milk and Cookies: Christmas Food for Thought

An elaborate holiday meal surrounded by family on Christmas Day is something often taken for granted. I grew up in what can only be described as a “Leave it to Beaver” family: a new hand-sewn nightgown every Christmas Eve, gifts and cinnamon cider the next morning, and turkey with all the trimmings. With few exceptions, this was Christmas, but my husband’s childhood experiences sparked a meaningful change in the way I think of this day. Roy grew up with little to no tradition and quite literally very little food. From a young age, he and his brothers were often forced to resort to stealing from grocery stores and searching fast food dumpsters for anything resembling protein. While his success in business afforded him a comfortable lifestyle in adulthood, his desire to help others remains one of his most inspirational qualities. Shortly after we married, we adopted a “give, not get” tradition. Instead of exchanging presents, we bought food, personal supplies, and gifts […]
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