Time is the best gift we can give this Christmas
Christmas is almost here, and many Americans can’t afford to buy gifts for their loved ones.
Are you one of them?
The pandemic has financially ruined the lives of thousands of people. Some have lost their loved ones to this deadly virus, and even more have lost their jobs and their money. Christmas – a time that is supposed to be filled with laughter, joy, peace and harmony – seems like it could be the least wonderful time of the year.
Christmas is the season of giving. For centuries, we’ve been taught that we are supposed to buy gifts for the people we love. But what if we have nothing to give?
In 2020, the prospect of giving gifts to others seems daunting for those who barely have enough money to put food on the table at home. If one cannot even pay the monthly utility bill, how is he or she supposed to buy Christmas gifts?
When we give someone a gift, we give them something that we think will be meaningful to them. One of the most meaningful gifts I’ve ever received is not a toy or an outfit; rather, it is the gift of spending time with the people I love.
When I look back on the best parts of my life, I don’t think of the toys I got for my birthdays. I don’t think of the clothes I found boxed up underneath the Christmas tree. I don’t think of the money I found tucked in a greeting card.
When I look back on the best parts of my life, I think of the times I spent hugging Mom, Dad, and Sister in the living room. I think of raising my glass and yelling “Happy New Year!” in the company of friends. I think of those quiet moments just sitting on the couch while watching a movie with a beautiful lady.
Those moments? Those were the real gifts. They didn’t cost a dime. They just took time.
These days, my friends and I could use a little more time. We’re working multiple jobs, studying for difficult college exams, and trying to catch some shut-eye in the midst of our packed schedules. We’re all busy, and time is hard to come by.
The same goes for my family. We were once just down the hall from one another; now, we’re hours apart, and we spend hours toiling away at our jobs, hastily running from one task to the next.
In terms of economics, the laws of supply and demand apply here. Our supply of time is low, and it continues to get lower. Yet it is in the greatest demand – and it should be.
When Christmas comes to town, I always listen to the parable of the Three Wise Men, who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus as he was lying in the manger in Bethlehem. These three minerals are only found in limited quantities on Earth. They are incredibly rare. Yet there is one, and only one, resource in this world that is more finite.
Financially, almost all of us are feeling the “pinch” in 2020. Someday, however, we’ll have the money to buy gifts for people. There will always be toys, clothes, gift cards, and money to give away. Presently, these resources seem scarce. One day, they will not.
But today, tomorrow, and for every day from now on, there will be one thing of which we are all in short supply, and of which we will one day run out: time.
We will never have more time. We cannot buy it, and we cannot make it. We can only spend it, and we can only give it.
Not all of us can afford expensive items, but we can all spend time with the people we love.
This Christmas, give not your money, your things, your items, and your stuff. Give your laughter, your help, your love, and your time.
Even in 2020, those are gifts we can all give.
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