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The best gifts come without a box.

Tuesday, December 5,2017

It’s dark outside. The suggestion of light is edging into the sky, backl-ighting silhouettes of trees and the day ahead. The garbage truck rattles its way down my street, small red and white lights focused on their target as they go. Jeffrey, my ginger cat, a reincarnation of every other ginger cat I have had, pushes against the front window as we watch the beast outside empty the cans into its yawning mouth.

I offer a silent apology to the driver. I am yet in my pyjamas with coffee in hand, watching as he goes. “Don’t worry, you’ll be sleeping while I work tonight. It’s not what it looks like, I don’t actually stay here in my jammies all day.”

He’s gone now. Not even a rumble is left. All that rubbish!

I try to keep my footprint low, but fail miserably every time I push the “Buy Now” button - because it is just so easy. Ugh! It may balance out slightly when I buy used things, like the hutches I just bought. I like used furniture, their story comes along with them. So, in an effort to live a little leaner, I am forgoing the big gifts for my kids and grandkids and am buying - experiences,

I look back over my shoulder into Christmases past, birthdays gone and nothing shouts as loudly to me as the adventures I have had in this life. There’s the time I partied with Billy Idol, the time I went dancing in Mississippi with the Cajun cowboy and the time I ate eel in Okawa Shi. There are more. They are old friends chuckling at the things we got up to. They are the “remember when” crowd.

I don’t know what happens to memories when we leave this rotation, but I am pretty sure they don’t pile up like mountains of non-degradable tires and get icebergs chipping into the drink. I think I’d rather set another link in the chain of memories for people than add to the gift wrap I have neatly folded in my closet from years gone.

That said, I’m still buying gifts and still wrapping them. Just not more, nor less. Just enough to say “I see you and I want you to know I love you”. Just enough. And then there’s Jeffrey, looking at me with one eye open, completely confident that I love him as he bats at the first cat toy I have ever bought. I clicked “Buy Now” and a too big box arrived with hours of fun inside. Sigh. Small steps...