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Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Perfect Gift

Want to find 'the perfect gift'?

It's easy. It doesn't come in a box. You don't have to shop for it or order it or drive all over town trying to find it. It always fits and it never goes out of style. There are no screaming commercials involved. Best of all, there is no financial cost.

What is this 'perfect gift,' you ask? It isn't a fancy car or expensive jewelry or clothes that the recipient doesn't want or like. For me, it is spending time with my daughter, baking cookies or preparing Thanksgiving dinner together. After years of a somewhat contentious relationship as she worked through the demons of her horrible childhood in Russia, we now have a great relationship. She is now a mature, considerate young woman of 22. We are mother and daughter, but we are also close friends. She knows she can come to me with any concerns or problems, and I do my best not to judge or try to solve the issue for her, but to offer suggestions and advice. 

Her salon is having a cookie exchange next month, and she is planning to bake cookies at my house, with its larger kitchen, lots of cookbooks and Mom's advice and ingredients. Spending time with her, making memories and traditions that she can share with her children in the future, is what I like about the Christmas season. I have always done a lot of holiday baking, including my world-famous fudge, but as I got older I scaled back on the cookie making. Now I can continue to bake and share my knowledge with her.

I don't know how many more opportunities there will be to share these special times. I keep thinking about moving to a more progressive, less dangerous state, and one with a warmer winter climate. She doesn't want to stay in Albuquerque forever. Her boyfriend in in the military, so he can be deployed at any time. So as the old Latin saying goes, 'Carpe diem' or 'Seize the day.'

Another 'perfect gift' for me is being able to make a large donation to my favorite charities, including the hospice that cared for my dad at the end of his life, as well as ]golden retriever rescue groups from which I adopted two of my dogs. Finally, I always buy food baskets to be distributed to needy members of the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona. Now those are 'perfect gifts.'

So there is no need to search high and low for 'the perfect gift.' The perfect gift is here, just waiting to be shared..