The Gift of Time

Well, Christmas 2009 is over and we are all planning for Christmas next year and hoping that it will not arrive as fast as it did this year.

The shreds of wrappings from this years presents have all been cleaned up, the eggnog drunk and the turkey dinner… well that will go on for about a month…or longer since we have a large freezer. All the presents that ‘didn’t fit’ either the body or the soul have been returned. All except for that only for Christmas  “I got it on sale” so it can’t be returned reindeer sweater with battery powered tree lights from Aunt Tilly; even the Goodwill wouldn’t accept it so now it’s a family treasure…or the white elephant gift for the office exchange next year. (Hope Aunt Tilly doesn’t show up at the party.)

This year I guess that you could say that I was lucky; much needed hiking boots from my son, warm winter under gear from my daughter and snow shoes from my wife. But the best gift given to me by all three was the gift of their precious time.

The day after Christmas, with me dressed in my newest gear, we headed to the backside of Mt. Ashland for a day in the snow. Together we snow-shoed and cross country skied for hours. I fell behind while photographing the beauty that surrounded us but they patiently waited fro me to catch up. With the snow soft and shiny in the bright sunlight, smiles on all our faces, we trudged down and back up the access road on the south facing side of the mountain. Tired from the exercise and flush from the chilly air, we returned to the car for a skiers tailgate picnic. My wife had carefully chosen all the fixings and had thoughtfully left out the Christmas turkey.

With my stomach full, my legs legs rubbery, my wife driving (hey, it is her truck) and the kids asleep in the back seat we headed back down the mountain to the warm confines of our home. A warm drink, a holiday movie and a nap on the couch made the day complete.

Thanks to my family for a gift that could not be AND WOULD NOT BE returned; but definitely re-gifted next year.

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