Posted December 14, 2006: Well, deer season
has opened and harvest is finally winding down, so it must
be coming up on the Christmas time of year.
Things start to slow down around here during these early
weeks of December. We get a brief rest before the conference
season starts and then it’s on to spring planting. We
can’t completely shut down since there are equipment
repairs to make, seeds to order (see November’s
article) and supplies and equipment to buy.
Speaking of buying and making lists…the coming of the
holidays also means it’s time to think about giving
the people closest to you a gift, just a little something
to let them know how special they really are. I always have
trouble picking out just the right gift for someone, especially
if you can’t find it at the hardware store.
Here’s the honest truth: I find it much easier to pick
out gifts for myself. I think about things I know I need,
the things I think I need and things I just plain want. I
can come up with important items for the farm, the shop, for
my hobbies. Boy, the list is endless.
I know that sort of defeats the purpose of giving gifts…you
know, giving to yourself.
My wife always says “You’re so hard to buy for.”
“Not me,” I say. “I’m easy to buy
for.” In fact I was just thinking today that a nice
set of flex-head ratcheting wrenches would be the perfect
gift to give to myself. Or, maybe, since I was really good
this past year—a new gooseneck trailer.
See—I’m easy to buy for!
But, the task at hand is to think of what others might want
for a gift, something to remind them that I took the time
to think about them. And, the more time I spend thinking about
it, the more I begin to realize that gifts don’t need
to be “things” at all.
Maybe what I give those close to me is already enough: a
warm dry home to live in, a farm to feed us, friendship, love
But maybe what I need to give them is more of myself—more
of my time, all through the year. More of who I really am.
More of what makes all of our lives special to each other.
A better ear for listening, more time to assist a neighbor,
time to play with the kids or attend their activities, or
maybe just a helping hand where it’s needed.
So that’s what I’ll do—I’ll make
a list of all the things I can give to those around me that
aren’t really “things” at all, but are far
more important. I don’t know how I’ll wrap them,
but I’ll figure something out.
So to all of you, I wish for you all those intangible “things”
that really do express the true sentiments during this joyous
season and throughout the year.
Now, to be on the safe side—should all my loved ones
just decide to give me more of themselves—I’d
better head off to find some traditional gifts for a special
someone. Like maybe I’ll just go to the hardware store
to see if they happen to have a set of flex-head ratcheting
You know, just in case.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.
From One Farm to Another