The Gift of Time

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Our Wednesday Fox asked, “What are the two best Christmas presents you ever received?”

My first reaction was “Oh my. This sounds like a version of ‘Who’s your favorite child?’” I stewed about this topic for a good hour, trying to remember specific things that I’ve opened up during the many Christmases I’ve experienced. 

I’m sentimental about a lot of things, but I don’t seem to hold a special place in my heart for Christmas gifts. My friends and family are dear to me, and sometimes they surprise me with thoughtful gifts that I’ll use or display, but for some reason I can’t remember any of them. I finally realized that I cherish and remember experiences more than tangible gifts. Back when money was tight I was grateful when my parents or other relatives gifted us with things that we needed. But I value time spent together more than things I’ve received. I don’t remember what I’ve opened up on Christmas morning, but I remember many years of helping my dad wrap the gifts for everyone else and making them look pretty under the tree. 

Anyway, once I realized that experiences were my favorite gifts, I was able to choose two specific examples to share with you. I shared in a previous post that my uncle always sent us gifts from wherever he was stationed. One year when I was in high school, rather than individual gifts, he chose to send a family gift: a set of board games. It seems like there were maybe a half dozen games in the set, and the one I remember most was called Facts in Five. One deck of cards contained categories, and another deck had letters of the alphabet. Five categories and five letters were drawn, and you had five minutes to write down things that fit each category and began with each of the letters drawn, so a total of 25 things. I LOVED playing that game, but even more, I loved the time spent playing it with my dad, my siblings, and anyone we could rope into playing with us. Mom usually sat out, claiming she didn’t know enough English, but I think she just liked to watch us play. She kept busy preparing snacks and encouraging us.

The second experience gift happened much more recently. A few years ago, when my daughter asked me over Thanksgiving dinner what I wanted for Christmas, I said, “There is nothing that I need. But what I’d love is to be able to attend a concert by one of my favorite groups (I named a few) or watch a play or musical.” To my surprise, she and her sister made it happen. They told me to reserve a Sunday afternoon in December, and when the day arrived they picked me up and we drove to Muskegon (about an hour away) where I was thrilled to watch a Mannheim Steamroller performance with them. Since my husband didn’t enjoy watching shows or concerts, I was happy to have the experience, and the afternoon was even more special because I shared it with two of my favorite people. 

What kind of gifts are special to you?


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
This entry was posted in blessings, childhood, experiences, Family, holidays, memories, Music, Patricia Kiyono and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Gift of Time

  1. What wonderful and memorable gifts! You have a very thoughtful family.
    “Best” Christmas gifts! Wow, I think I put this one out of my mind.


  2. Diane Burton says:

    Those are truly memorable gifts. Great post, Patty. Wishing you and your family a great holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Salter says:

    Beautifully expressed.
    I think our world would be much better off if more people shared your view of “gifts” during this season. Sadly, far too many are hung up (or caught up) on the intense commercialization.


  4. What wonderful gifts! I think experiences are probably better gifts. This is a tough topic, I’m not sure I remember many gifts I’ve gotten over the years.


  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Two lovely gifts that will stay in the heart long after material goods are gone.


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