Friday, May 03, 2013

The Gift of Time.

As I get older and birthdays, Christmas, weddings, or even just Mothers Day get togethers become genuinely special because we so rarely force ourselves to get together (and I just LOVE my friends and family too much for words). I think especially after my momma was sick, every year we have to celebrate with her has become even more precious. 

As these events call for gifts to the person being celebrated or just to each other in general (e.g. Christmas) I realized lately I have been changing my gift giving style and methods. No longer do I spend time rushing around on the way to the event trying to find something suitable, unique, something they'll actually use instead of just putting on another shelf or in another drawer. Something they'll love and think of how much I love them when they see it. These are all well and good, and sometimes I do still find myself seeing something so perfect for someone on Etsy or at a vintage store I can't help but tie a bow on it and give it to them. But we already have so much stuff. There is no reason I need to continue to add to someones piles. Besides, what is it we really value anyway? Time. 

It started with my parents. They are so difficult to buy for because they already have so much stuff, and the new stuff they want is too expensive for a single gift. Plus, I know finances are tight so they never get to do fun things anymore like dinner out, the movies, etc. So I started buying Groupons for them as presents. Wine tasting on a yacht around Dana Point! Dinner out anywhere! Movie Tickets! Then I noticed my aunt and uncle never go out and do anything because of their kids, so my family started giving them dinner/movie certificates which included free babysitting from one of us. Now as boyfriends birthday comes up, I already started saving for premium seats at a Padres vs. Braves game (he LOVES the Braves). For people who don't ever get time together, and when they do its busy running errands or doing chores...time doing something fun together even as simple as a dinner out, can be such a treat. 

As our little bear prepares to arrive I haven't bought him a single toy. All of them were given to us (or borrowed. Besides second hand books, you can never have too many books. But even those you can get free from the library!). Even when I thought I'd have to buy him some toys I was going to just get a train set, cars and car mat, and blocks before calling it a day. That is PLENTY to keep a toddler entertained in the evenings. You know what we are spending our money on instead? Fun things together the week he is first here. Nothing too fancy and all activities we get a military discount on, the zoo, children's museum, and the kids area for a $3 baseball game downtown being most notable. Otherwise the beach, my parents backyard, and our pool seem like a perfect way to spend time together without overwhelming the little buddy. We just want to BE together outside...even a hike around the lagoon by our house would be sufficient. 

It's amazing how when you take your "I NEED MORE STUFF" glasses off, how much the world opens up. You are free not to care about all that junk anymore, and instead dig for the cool things we can fill our time with that are free in our neighborhood. We all work so much, sadly boyfriend can't help it and I will be cutting my hours once little buddy comes...but still. It makes time together even doing simple things, all the more precious.

So as Mother's Day comes up, I'd encourage you to think outside the box and find something to DO that you know she would love. My Momma doesn't even care what we do together, she just misses me all the time so something as simple as a coffee date would be good enough. And our mother's day event? A free picnic outside drinking and eating snacks in the sunshine with each other. 

Enjoy your friends and family.



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