My Christmas Gift

FOCUS ON PETS

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'Tis the week that is Christmas and all round the town, folks are rushing and tired during the final countdown. There are gifts yet to find and they all must be wrapped and the lights round the house still need to be hung. The cookies need baking; the popcorn must be popped for the company who's coming, including St. Nick. The house must be cleaned, there are groceries to buy and the Christmas cards should by now be in the mail.

Who has time for all this when life is always a rush, with the job and the kids and the cooking and such?

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Reindeer Clarisse takes it easy in preparation for the big night with Santa. Vangard Clarisse, sometimes disguised as a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, belongs to Gail Deuel of Cave Creek, Ariz.

Listen to the music of Christmas and the message it brings, and let it fill our hearts with real meaning this season. We must all take the time to sit close to the fire and allow the spirit of this glorious season to inspire. Gather the family and read cherished stories. Talk about special memories of Christmases past -- of when the children were thought to be snug in their beds, but instead spied on Santa's helpers busily going about their tasks. The bike that absolutely refused to be assembled or the parts that were missing, could you blame dear old St. Nick? But the stockings were always filled just in time and the treasures from Santa were lined up 'round the tree. Mom and dad rushed to bed while visions of a good night's sleep danced in their heads, but instead the clatter of children's excited voices were heard way too early.

Talk of a Christmas that was above all the rest very special, and let everyone add why they think it was so. From the youngest of children to great-grandma and pops, their cherished memories will most likely not be what you thought. It was probably not due to a most costly gift, but more likely the people who gathered around. Family and friends baking cookies or singing carols for the neighbors. Maybe filling a basket for a family in need.

Those most wonderful memories make this season so special.

'Tis a season of love, 'tis the season for sharing. Our gifts should be measured by what's in our heart, not in our wallet. We must stop once a year during this season of hustle and know that the reason for this season is not covered in soot from his head to his foot, but that baby lying humbly in a drafty old shed with animals gathered around doing their best to warm him. He is the reason for this wondrous season.

I don't claim to be a poet, so don't be too hard on me. Forgive my humble efforts, because it's Christmas, don't you see.

I have no gift to give except a very genuine Merry Christmas to you all, from Higgins, Megan, Gibson and me, and to all a good night.

Christy Wrather is a columnist for the Payson Roundup. She can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@earthlink.net or by snail mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.

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