Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Best Present

I must confess I like giving presents. I especially enjoy giving Christmas gifts to my family. There are few things in life I enjoy more than watching my loved ones open their gift from me. It is then I might get a gasp, a smile, a squeal of delight, a tear, or an exclamation as they see what I have given them.

There's a little method to my gift selection I can pass on to you. I pay attention. That's right. I pay attention to those around me throughout the year, listening for some indication of what gets them excited, what they're really interested in. For example, my mind tunes into their hobbies, collections, interests, etc. A friend who's into pens gets a special pen; a friend who golfs, well, he gets golf stuff; the one who enjoys trains gets a train set, etc. I know. It's a pretty complicated method.

I've also been known to be so bold to just ask what they would like for a gift. This tactic can sometimes be frustrating, however. For when the loved one mentions the best gift they could ever get just so happens to be the best gift everyone else wants, well, then, it's often difficult to find it. It's then I go into my super-quest mode: determined to pull all of the stops to obtain that item which is unattainable so that my loved one is especially excited come Christmas morning.

Over the years I've had my share of successes, giving those special gifts that elicit a gasp, smile or squeal. One time I even got tackled as my loved one ran to give me a hug.

One thing I've noticed -- no matter what the gift is -- the best time of the day is simply being together. I have come to realize I could wrap up just about anything and the gift would be appreciated. Okay, maybe not anything, but you get my drift.

This brings me to one last item, and it's the most important point I want to leave you with. Guys, the best present you can give your loved ones at Christmas is your presence -- throughout the year. When you are home for meals, cheering at sports events, sitting next to your kids as they do their homework, reading a bedtime story to your youngster, or just taking a walk -- being with them is a gift they can't replace -- nor would they want to.

Most every present under the tree will be worn out, broken, lost or outgrown over the years. Not so with the memory of the times you've spent together. And in these times of pinching pennies, isn't it nice to know the most enduring gift you can give is yourself?

So the next time you wonder what's the best present you can give that special someone, try giving yourself -- your presence.

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