I’ve had a few people calling in crisis, laid off, haven’t been employed, lots of other financial obligations. I know that kids want the newest, coolest and mainly the most expensive presents. Been there, been the kid that wanted it. But my favorite Christmas memory, has nothing to do with the presents under the tree, but the tree itself.

Yeah…as you can tell by the photos on my desk, I love Christmas trees! They are all beautiful! Even the Charlie Brown trees.

But when I was a kid, we didn’t have a tree. My favorite Christmas was getting up and seeing a decorated tree. Okay, it wasn’t real, who cares! It was a tree! My dad had worked a part time job while serving our country. He did this to afford a tree. And my mom made ornaments to go on it. She and he both knew they were going to get it.

You know, I don’t remember a toy I got that year. But I remember that tree, and then the mornings we had together. I remember that some times I had more fun with the huge boxes, the ribbon, and just watching everyone else. Heck, even the small boxes could be put together.

Okay, I know, I’m not normal. That’s a big DUH! But…most children I see want one thing. Their parents attention!

So for Christmas, sure you could buy the newest gadget, and sure they are going to be happy, but years later when you ask them, or hell ask yourself, what was your favorite present? I really hope it’s not that easy bake oven, hot wheels super loopy loop track, it was the time you spent with your parents playing with those toys. Today, you don’t need a big gadget, a simple board game, a movie and some time to play/watch it with them. That would be a present that all of the children I see, would love to have. To know that their parents love them enough, to spend time with them.

So in the bigger picture, are there people that you know, that need a babysitter, an ear to listen to them, to take them shopping- or go shopping for them. Lots of things that we can do, that doesn’t cost anything, but time.
And time seems to be a big commodity these days.

Just some thinking outside of the box; so that you don’t have to go into debt. It’s nice to have a shiny wrapped present, a bag, but what most people don’t know. Those bags I hand out, don’t have expensive presents, but homemade cookies, a personal letter or note. And for some, my time. “Let’s do lunch? Let’s do nothing. You got my ear for an hour.”

The economy is bad, trust me, I’ve heard about it a lot. Christmas is a time of peace, and goodwill. If you have the means, spread some goodwill! Please!
I’ve overheard a lot of people trying to figure out how to feed their families for the month, how are they going to pay their gas/electric bills.
I found out a few years ago, that people can go to the electric company and donate money for a fund to help pay bills for those that can’t. In Indiana, some times, that is the best present I can donate to people. I still do the angel tree when I can, and I go around to friends and pick up their clothes to take to the shelters for them. Remember time is a commodity, and I don’t mind doing this. It helps others out! That’s the idea for the season, do unto others. Help others, even the Grinch realized this!! He learns in the end that despite his success in taking away all the Christmas presents and decorations from the Whos, Christmas comes just the same. He then realizes that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents. ~ Theodor Seuss Geisel