Sunday, December 23, 2007

What Would You Give?...

... if you could afford to give to your friends any Christmas gift you wanted?

I know we all have our own ideas of what life-changing gifts we might give; here's mine.

(1) A home, all paid for: nothing gave me more of a sense of personal freedom and self-direction than paying off our home for the very first time. It's an amazing thing, knowing that the place in which you live fully belongs to you; I wish I could give that feeling to every one of my friends.

(2) A new car, all paid for. Same basic idea here. A house and a car are the two biggest expenses that most people are burdened with; I am convinced that, once someone becomes free from those, it's relatively easy to arrange one's finances so that one would never have to go into debt again.

(3) A favorite childhood toy. Every one of us has some toy from our youth that holds a special place in our heart; most of us have long since lost that toy, and have no idea how to replace it. Wouldn't it be wonderful to give that gift to your friends? The stories that such gifts would generate would be wonderful; every one of us can wax eloquent about those things that meant so much to us when we were young.

(4) A book signed by a favorite author or artist. Ideally, it would be a book personalized to the recipient, but a signed book would suffice if the author/artist were no longer alive to personally inscribe the volume.

(5) A complete collection of family photos, films, and videotapes, digitally collected, transferred, and organized. I suspect that every one of us has plans to someday assemble all those random photos and tapes and 8mm movies and put them into some semblance of order; unfortunately, most of us never get around to it. Wouldn't it be great to be able to give each person a fully prepared collection of his own family photos and films to be enjoyed whenever one wished?

Alas, I can't afford to give these to all of my friends... maybe someday. I've been lucky enough to give a few of these gifts to people close to me, though, and I can tell you that it's a remarkable feeling...

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