In the prep for this holiday season I found my brain getting tripped up a lot. I was struggling trying to come up with gift ideas and I didn’t have much extra money for presents but I still wanted to give my friends and family something of value. The holidays were getting closer and I was feeling pressed for time. Thinking about time can send my brain on lots of different trains of thought and off it went. Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time in all the world and sometimes the minutes drag on like hours. Time is relative. Time is linear. Time is circular. Time is money. All of these things are true in their own way but none of them were getting me any closer to figure out a nice present for people.
Then I started getting caught up on the world value because it can be such a subjective term, but maybe one of those earlier ideas hit on something. One of the things that our culture and society places value on is time. With a job we are expected to be paid for our time spent working. We pay other people for their time and effort when we get our car fixed or get something repaired.
The time right before the holidays is really stressful, even during the holidays, sometimes especially during the holidays if a visit to or from family is involved. There were moments where I was getting flustered trying to feel prepared but there were moments amidst all the running around and scrambling to get presents ready that felt really good. I’d look over and my wife would be elbows deep in a craft she loved trying to get something for a present just right and it would just make me smile to see her lost in the creative flow.
Somewhere in all those thoughts an idea burst forth. I wanted to gift people with an hour of my time, specifically one hour of my undivided attention. This idea came about partly because of that meme about adult friendship in mind, “adult friendship is two people saying ‘I haven’t seen you in forever, we should really meet up more’ over and over again until one of you dies.” The truth in that gave me a sad feeling. The thought of not getting any real good quality time with the people that I love over a lifetime gives me a sad feeling.
So the way I was thinking about it this isn’t just a gift for them, it was going to be a gift of connection for both parties. I love spending one-on-one time with people because you get to know them a little bit better and it is a lot harder to get to know all about someone in these fast-paced days of instant connection without that face time. We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that it is almost expected that an offer to have a friend come for a visit or getting together for lunch is graciously received and accepted but never cashed in on. Not this time around. I want to actually take the time to share moments with the people that I love.