The holidays are synonymous with gift giving and lots of presents.  The daily report on the news about holiday shopping tries to track just how many people are shopping and what they spend.  Both online and offline, the availability to shop is endless all due to the quest  for the ‘perfect present’.  Children have a long list of the latest and greatest toys they ‘need’, while teens are more content with gift cards and cold hard cash.  Welcome to Christmas!  Fortunately or unfortunately, people cannot afford all the expensive ‘toys’ and gadgets.   Actually they probably never could, but in years past bought them anyway lending to our current economic crisis.  However, what is the perfect present?  Is it expensive and flashy, or does the number of presents matter?  Does it need to be something larger than anyone else’s, or should it matter to the recipient?  Our habits as a gift giver is a good indication of who we are as a person.  Do we spend lots of time thinking of things that are meaningful to the recipient or do we just purchase something for the sake of buying to be able to cross another name off our list?  Do we take painstaking care to actually make something and give gifts of ourselves, or do we hit buy, wrap and send on our computer?  Do we get just as excited about giving our gifts to our loved ones, or is the exercise of gift giving just that; an exercise in exchanging?  When we write a card ,do we write something special to the person we didn’t reach out to since the prior year, or do we just stuff and send?  Do we honor traditions of cooking, baking then sharing our bounty with family and friends?  With every holiday season we get an opportunity to share our lives with all our loved ones.  A chance to reach out and remember our family traditions,  to acknowledge why we are friends to begin with and to reconnect with those people who we miss.  The lights, decorations and presents of Christmas pale in comparison to the joy and happiness of spending time and giving heartfelt mementos to loved ones.  As the days tick by to Christmas and New Year’s, my wish for everyone is to take joy in the season;  appreciate and celebrate your family and friends and enjoy your quest in pursuit of the perfect present!

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