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Let’s remember time over gifts this Christmas

Bob Hope once said, “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.”

This Christmas, I’ve really struggled with figuring out what to buy Kenleigh.

She only wanted a $60 water bottle. That’s it. Nothing more; nothing less.

I have racked my brain for weeks trying to figure out what else, other than some clothes.

She was no help. The other things she wanted, she asked the grandparents for.

For a decade, I’ve been trying to keep up with the grandparents. Being a single mom, that hasn’t always been easy, but I always wanted her to have more than I did growing up.

Last night, as I’m talking to her, I realize that I, not my daughter, had lost sight of what’s important.

It’s not important if she has one gift or many under the tree.

She’s growing up, and she’s learned that she doesn’t need every toy that comes on television.

She’s learned that there’s no need to ask for everything because next month she won’t care to play with it anymore because she’ll have moved onto the next fad, and that time and memories are far greater.

A study by Visit Anaheim found that American families only enjoy 37 minutes of quality time as a family on weekdays.

Most parents work a 40-hour-plus workweek. Then, there’s soccer practice, football practice, cheer, dance and gymnastics. Then, there’s Wednesday night church, and Friday night football. It’s never ending.

Quality time is one of the most precious gifts we can give each other, especially quality time with family members.

So many times we get bogged down in the day-to-day grind, chauffeuring children to-and-from extracurricular activities, work, that we forgot to pause and remember what’s truly important.

I hope that we all take time to spend with our families and appreciate the joy that our loved ones bring.

As Alan Cohen said, “It’s not more time you need. It’s more quality use of time you already have.”