Artdog Quote of the Week: The Greatest Christmas Gift

Last Monday I shared a quote and talked about reaching out to others whom we may not appreciate. 

But for mortals such as us, time is a finite thing. With whom should we spend most of that finite resource? 


We probably all have heard the quote from Rabbi Kushner, “Nobody on their deathbed has ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.'” 

How does that apply to your life? 

Ted Andressen had wise
words for a younger
colleague in a recent
episode of Nightwatch.

I recently saw a practical expression of this, on a reality TV show called Nightwatch (on A&E), in which an older Paramedic was talking with a younger one about balancing work and life. He’d been married for a long time, had a wife whom he still loved, and grown kids who respected him. 

The younger man had a new baby, and was working a lot of hours. As young fathers do, he probably was worried about money. But the wise older man told him to pay attention to the important things. 

That may not be you: no young baby, no wife or husband, no money issues. You may be in a different phase of life, and worried about different things. 

But are you telling your loved ones each day how much they mean to you? Are you taking time to focus and listen, not just talk about your own problems? Or worse, are you not talking at all?

Christmas (or any of the other holidays) can be hectic, and the time and money pressure can be fierce. But just as we are wise not to get too caught up in the trap of thinking that we can have a “perfect” Christmas if only we decorate, bake, send cards, etc., we also are wise to realize that a downsized Christmas gift list, if it allows us to be with our loved ones more, is the better choice. 

Christmas decorations and projects can be
fun–until they become just too much!

My sister Gigi and I once made an agreement that we would never let things become more important to us than people. And we are both happier for that decision.

May it be so for you, too. The blessings of Christmas or any holiday lie not in the piles of loot we might receive , but in the moments of true connection we can make. 

IMAGE: Many thanks to Short Stories LOVE for the quote image, to A&E’s Nightwatch website for the photo of Ted Andressen, and the photo of “Rustic Christmas Decorations” from NewsCommonSense.

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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