Giving the gift of time

David Peck

Christmas is upon us, and with it the highs and lows of the holiday season.
Indeed, Christmas can be magical -- with festive events, brightly lit trees and homes, kids singing their hearts out in Christmas concerts, family gatherings, meaningful religious services and the joy of giving and receiving gifts.
But the season also brings stress – finding the right gift, dealing with family emotions and worrying about how to pay for presents without loading up the credit card, then paying for it all in the weeks ahead.
We worry about whether a gift is worthy, whether it will be well received. If times are tough, how can we pay for a proper gift? Or many gifts? And how do our gifts compare?
I have a solution. Give yourself. Give your presence, your time.
It is free and, at the same time, priceless.
I can probably name three gifts I received while growing up, but what I do remember is time spent with my grandmother, my mother and father, siblings and friends and family members. Gatherings were far more important than gifts.
Perhaps you are separated from loved ones by hundreds if not thousands of miles or multiple time zones. Give them a phone call – or a FaceTime call – and plan to make it last. Spend the time. Embrace the moment.
Susan and I – for the second straight Christmas – cannot be with our new grandson, and it saddens me. But nothing can lift my spirits better than a FaceTime call with the little guy via our daughter Danielle. I love it when the call lingers, even when we seem to run out of conversation items, just watching the baby toddle around the house, getting into things.
Heartwarming. Glorious. Priceless.
It costs nothing to spend time with someone. Think of those who can’t get out, who may be lonely, who will value a chat and a hug. Stop by. Visit. Show them you care. And if they’re far away, give them a call.
It’s the most important part of the unconditional love and joy of Christmas, far more valuable than all of the wrapped gifts in the world.
Give yourself this Christmas. Give your time. It’s more precious than gold.