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When not much is enough

When I read this on a Facebook post it reminded me of Christmases past.

“Don’t come at me with your little gift bag or Christmas tin and be all, “It’s not that much, but . ..” Let me tell you something. If you think enough of me to build, buy, make, bake, paint, craft or grow something for me . . .out of one billion people, this one thing is just for me.

That is much.



Let’s not forget that this year when we say, “It’s not much, but . . .” because the thoughtfulness to think of someone else is “much.”

The Christmas after my mom had died in May, a lady family friend who lived in Iowa and had her own family, a husband and three kids, baked and frosted sugar cookies, and mailed them to us. Zesta had been a friend to my dad and mom for years and she made time in her busy life to remember us. I was 10 and still remember her kindness. It wouldn’t have surprised me to find out that her children assisted her and her husband Pete likely mailed the package.



After we were married, I worked at Beth Peters’ flower shop, Petals and Pots, in Hot Springs, S.D., for a time. Mrs. Forschner, a lady with whom I was acquainted, came in and ordered her flowers. As we chatted, we commiserated over the busyness of the season, as women often do. Two days later, she brought me a box of assorted baked goods and candies that she had made. She knew the days at the flower shop over the holidays were hectic. It was a gesture of appreciation and friendship that was totally unexpected and equally appreciated.

The giver in each instance may have prefaced the gifts with “It’s not much, but . . .” They were much to me.

On a radio show this week I heard a young woman lamenting she didn’t know what to get her aging grandparents for Christmas. She went on to say she almost mourns losing them, though they are still very much alive. The radio host finally got the caller to understand that the gift of time would be the most welcome. She mentioned that quality time spent with the grandparents would mean so much to them. They would not have to figure out where to put the latest gift or decide where to spend it.

The gift of time is finite, though we don’t know how much we have. That’s an odd realization. When you have money in your bank account, you know that if you spend it all, it will be gone. It is finite. You can choose to save some and not spend it all, but that is your decision. We can use our time for good causes or for nefarious purposes; either way we don’t know when we will run out of time.

If you want to show someone how much you think of them, spend time with them, holiday or not. That’s the best gift you can give.  

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