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Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries

The holiday season is in full swing. I finished shopping early this year, or so I thought, until I realized I hadn’t bought anything for Hubby. And as our usual tradition, I forgot to shop for my own stocking stuffers, so it’s back out with the crowds this week to fulfill those last few items.

When money allows, I love buying gifts year-round. I love the joy it brings me to make others happy, but I’m thinking I should change my strategy. Rather than giving them as soon as I buy them, I should stow them away until the holiday season. That way, my holiday shopping is done early, and the costs are spread out over the year instead of concentrated in one month. The only flaw in that logic is remembering where I put them when it’s time to wrap them and put them under the tree. Maybe I should make a treasure map for myself….

Like most other grandparents, Hubby and I love to buy things for our grandsons. We manage to find a lot of items we want our grandsons to have even though they already have plenty. This year it’s mostly art supplies and projects. Every household with kids should have an ample supply of construction paper, sketch pads, colored pencils, and markers. Because they’re boys, no glitter is included, an advantage parents of boys have over parents of girls. Once brought into a house, that stuff is around forever.

Hubby and I made a quick trip to Oregon to deliver the gifts for our grandsons and their parents. They all fit into an old suitcase so we brought them into the house without arousing suspicion. Our son wheeled it into a closet where the gifts will safely remain until Christmas Eve. At least, that’s our hope. Our trip afforded time for our son and daughter-in-law to have a day of shopping without the boys in tow. That in itself is a nice gift: date time for them. I think they appreciate that more than anything we buy for them.

Which brings me to another point. Don’t forget to give the intangible gifts. Give your time and love to those who really appreciate it. Call your family and tell them how much they mean to you. Babysit for parents who need a few hours to relax or shop without having to keep an eye on the kids. Visit a neighbor who doesn’t have family nearby. The little things mean a lot to the receivers, and they often cost nothing. Those are the best gifts we can give.

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