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Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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Viewpoint: Long Gift List, Short Bank Account
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There seems to be a problem with my Christmas gift budget this year. I donít have the financial means to give a gift to everyone I would like, at least the gifts I want to give them. I donít know about you but it seems I have that problem every year. Lotís of people, and not enough resources. For me, that tends to create a lot of stress. Somehow, in the United States, we have equated the giving of material things with love and friendship. And statistics show that many of us overextend ourselves so much financially that we end up stressed, frustrated, and anxious.

Lori and I have gotten better and better at not substituting mass quantities of things for love. Most of the things we give are forgotten in a short time. Sounds like a great system doesnít it. Give more than you can afford to give, with the knowledge that in a short period of time it will either be forgotten or overshadowed by the things someone else gave.

I have found some gifts that fit my budget. I can give the gift of tolerance and kindness. It is so ironic that in order for us to give things to the ones we love we frantically run from place to place, often treating those around us rudely. Have you ever almost been run over by a shopping cart at Christmas and behaved badly? I can choose to see that person through the eyes of kindness, and understand they are under who knows what kind of stress in trying to buy enough things for the people they love. Maybe I can even offer up a quick prayer for them, let them go ahead of me in line, or say something kind to them.

Sometimes a sincerely written note or card can mean more to a person than we can imagine. I was digging through some stuff Iíve saved for years, looking for a graduation picture. I found the picture. I also found a handwritten note from one of the editors who worked for me on the newspaper at the college I attended. She, a vocal liberal, commented on how I, a conservative, had taken the paper and made it into something the student body could be proud of. I donít know if all of that was true, I do know Iíve kept that correspondence for nearly fifty years. When was the last time you gifted someone with a note of appreciation?

One of the best gifts I can give my grandkids is time. Iím not talking about time in the same room where I am on the telephone or some other gadget, but the kind of face-to-face time, one-on-one, where I really take the time to listen and participate in their little lives. We have bought our four grandchildren many things, probably too many. They have gone many places, probably to the point of boredom. What do they talk about in those quiet one-on -one moments? They talk about going to the little park near our house, playing baseball, throwing frisbees, the minutes in the back yard, and stories read to them from books they love. They talk about piling into bed with grandma in the morning. Sure, they talk about things they want for Christmas but it seems to me the gift they treasure the most is the parts of their mom and dad, the parts of their grandparents, that no one else can supply.

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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