On the New American Dream website, a resource for conservation, recycling, and simplifying life, I recently stumbled onto their “Gift of Time” cards that you can print out, fill in, and give to the people you love. Printed on the card is this phrase, “This year, in appreciation of all you do, I’m giving you something a little different . . . my time!” with space to write something like, “homemade dinner,” “music lessons,” etc. Our time may be one of our most valuable resources, and what a gift it would make.

That’s been my favorite gift so far this Christmas, spending time with the people I love. Over the past few days, I’ve been Christmas caroling, carriage riding, Charlie Brown watching, cookie making, cookie eating, and restaurant dining with friends for the holidays. There will be more of the same over the next few days, but increasingly with family. This time spent together is such a great gift.

Here are a few snapshots of last night’s gathering with my friends Verray, Kay, Jamie, and Joy, all courtesy of my new camera!