Some things mean more than traditional gifts

May 15, 2013 

One of the questions my wife asks during holiday seasons or my birthday is, “What would you like to have?” It’s a tough question to answer because I have everything I need.

Would another shirt be the answer? Even when I need to clean my closet?

I should explain what I call “fake holidays.” I am talking about holidays that seem only to sell greeting cards or to get rid of unwanted merchandise. Don’t misunderstand me, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day (the worst) are fine for what they are supposed to address: showing appreciation to someone for who they are and for what they have selflessly done for you.

In recent days, I have lost longtime friends and family members. I wonder whether an occasional phone call or an in-person visit would have meant more than a card or a dozen flowers sent because someone has designated a day as special.

If you wait to recognize a person who is and has been special in your life, you may wait one day too long. Today is the day to call or visit that special person while they are still with you.

Speaking of gifts, you don’t have to spend your life savings. In fact, don’t do it. As I said earlier, that phone call might mean more than something that will sit in a closet or dresser drawer.

A couple of gifts I have received mean the world to me. Many years ago, my oldest son and his mother went shopping to buy a Father’s Day gift for me. My son gave me a fingernail clipper. I still have it, and I treasure it because it was the first thing he ever gave me and because it’s the best fingernail clipper ever made.

A few years ago, my wife took my Schofield Bible and had it recovered in leather. It had been a hard-bound book, and the cover was coming off. Its new cover is still in place today, and I love it. What a thoughtful gift! And it came on a real holiday, Christmas.

Gift-giving isn’t really about the gift; It’s about the thought that want into securing the gift.

I am most thankful for a couple of other gifts. I am thankful that my mother gave birth to me. Of course, abortion wasn’t legal back then. Even if it had been, I have no doubt my mother would have given birth to me.

That reminds me of another great gift: The gift of eternal life. That gift is extended to anyone who will accept it. You’ve heard it before, John 3:16. Look it up and pray to receive the gift. In fact, why not accept his gift today?

Why don’t you declare a holiday for someone today? Show up on their doorstep with a pizza in hand. Or call that person who has meant so much to you and tell them just how special they are to you.

I bet that if you do, it will be the best holiday they’ve ever had.

David Wittenberg resides in Kathleen. Contact him at

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