Published 12/11/2008
by Eddy Robey M.A.
  Issue: 9.07
The Gifts of Winter
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Winter is a season for thinking about presents. Both Chanukah and Valentine's Day are on the calendar, and in the minds of all who feel affection in its many forms. The weather is cold, but our hearts are warm. Even this year, when the only stories in the media are about a bad economy, those stories are bracketed with advertisements for things to give one another.
There are many conversations about wish lists: do you think Uncle Joe would like this, have the girls been wanting that, is this a good choice for Mother? Mother? Oh boy, that's me! Do you really want to know what I would like? Do you?
"Uh oh,: you say, "Will I be able to afford it? Can I acquire it in time?"
Yep, you sure can. Let me tell you what I said to a friend just this week as we were discussing gifts. "Please, don't buy me any goodies; there is something which would make me much happier." Naturally, she wanted to know what it was. "The arthritis has been bad, and my hands will no longer hold a needle. Would you be willing to do a bit of sewing for me, hemming and some buttons?"
Now, that was not the first time I've made the same request of someone. Since my hands stiffened, I've asked more than one person, but nobody has ever done it. Last year, I spent a great deal of money paying the cleaners to do things which were simple, yet beyond my current capabilities. The saddest thing about this is knowing that none of my friends have been willing to give me a couple of hours doing anything but eating.
Does that give you an idea? Perhaps, you know someone who would really enjoy having the handles on their cupboards replaced. How about teaching a niece how to make that dish she always gobbles at family gatherings? Do you have a friend who would be delighted to have their linen closet organized? How about offering to help clean the garage?
It is always true that the gift of time is the most valuable that anyone can give. Before you purchase another box of dusting powder, or crystal tchochke, consider what would really be meaningful to those you love. Yes, the economy is poor, yet each of us has riches to share. The best presents of this or any other season come from the hands and hearts of those we love.
Learn what you can do, and do it. It will surely be appreciated.
Copyright 2008 Eddy Robey

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