Our Opinion: This Christmas, the best gift is time spent with family | NevadaAppeal.com

Our Opinion: This Christmas, the best gift is time spent with family

The Nevada Appeal Editorial Board

Well, we’ve come to another Christmas. Another year nearly gone, and many folks are more than ready to say “Good riddance” to 2009, a tough year from start to finish. But in reading the “Holiday Memories” sent in by our readers, and talking to shoppers in the stores on Christmas Eve, a theme starts to emerge. Even in dark times, human beings strive to find the silver lining, especially around Christmas.

Our readers’ warmest memories came not from receiving things, but in sharing what small good fortune they did have with others. The memories – cherished 50, 60, even 70 years later – almost all were of the simple pleasures of time spent together, children with parents, young couples in the first flush of a long-lasting love, families with friends new and old.

Elaine Harris of Carson City epitomized that sentiment, writing beautifully, “That Christmas 78 years ago, I learned a lesson far more valuable than the new doll that waited for me at home. I learned that happiness does not come from having everything you want. It comes from wanting everything you have. That was the best gift I received that year.”

Shoppers out searching Thursday for last minute deals told us they were cutting back, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. One woman said her son is more aware of the limits of parental finances and has scaled back his expectations, and that was OK. Others were looking forward more to the family gathering than any material gift.

The readers who wrote in about their memories during the Depression or World War II didn’t lament the hard times. They found the silver lining, in friends and family. Perhaps we will look back on this great recession as another period of hardship that showed us what really counts. That said, let’s all pray for a better 2010. We can only stand so much character-building.

The Nevada Appeal wishes all our readers the best of health and happiness this Christmas.