The perfect gift

I find it hard to believe that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems to continue to shrink every year. While I know that isn’t numerically accurate, it certainly seems that way to me, especially this year. When our girls were little, we were busy but most of the activities were “home-based.”

They were so excited about decorating for Christmas and putting up the tree that our house was a festive reflection of the season—even if the tree was a little bottom-heavy on decorations—and it was all done in one day. For some reason, it has taken forever to lug the totes of lights and decorations up the stairs this year and the tree decorating has been a week-long project that still isn’t just quite right.

We seemed to go from Black Friday to a single-digit countdown to Christmas Eve in a flash. Sprinkle in way too many senior year basketball games, work at a concession stand or two, FFA fruit delivery and the fact that there is never a dull moment on the ranch and it’s easy to see why this window of time to finish that sewing project or find a gift that reflects your intended sentiments is closing fast. Oh, and I just remembered that the traditional “year in review” family letter hasn’t even been written yet.

To me, the decorations and the constant stream of Christmas carols on the radio do help put you in the mood for the holiday season. I think it’s easy to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve a certain level of festivity and atmosphere, but that’s not really what this is all about.

Time is what we should consider when looking for a gift that will be cherished for years and will create memories. Not only do our aging parents and beloved mentors in our community truly wish for more of our time, it is the only gift they truly want. They need us to bring a deck of cards or a crockpot of soup and stop by, not just once for Christmas when other family members have likely migrated home, but once a week. Just sip a cup of coffee or look back through old pictures. The value of that time is truly priceless for not only them but for us as well.

The perfect decorations aren’t found on Pinterest, they were found high overhead in Bethlehem. The Perfect Gift was given in the year 0 A.D. Everything else we could give will always pale in comparison, but we can share the next best thing—ourselves. We wish you a very Merry Christmas spent in reflection of the many blessings you have and the true gifts of the season—peace, joy, love and hope.

Editor’s note: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the views of High Plains Journal. Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at [email protected].