Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Gift of Nothing

There’s a children’s book called The Gift of Nothing, by the creator of the Mutts comic strip, Patrick McDonnell.  If you’re familiar with Mutts, you know the main characters are a dog named Earl and a cat named Mooch. 

In this story, it’s Christmas time and Mooch the cat, can’t think of anything to get for his friend, Earl- who seems to have everything a dog could want or need.  As Mooch tries to solve his problem, he notices that everything seems to be loud, commercialized, and excessive. Finally, after much careful thought, he decides to get Earl a big box of nothing.  At first, Earl is confused, and then he understands: Peace and friendship were the gifts he received from Mooch.
The Gift of Nothing sits next to a Wild Thing
created by my daughter, Erin
This book holds a prominent place on my book shelf because I understand Mooch. Sometimes I get so stressed out about gift giving.  I enjoy shopping for and  giving gifts, but I always seem to worry about spending too much, spending too little, giving enough, or not enough.  I feel conflicted about the amount of time I spend or do not spend with different groups of friends and family. Truthfully, I always breathe a sigh of relief after the holidays are over.  I know I'm not alone in this.

If I were to give the gift of nothing to my loved ones, maybe it would be this:

My Gift of Nothing Christmas List
1.    Walking in the woods with Tim
2.    Sitting on a fishing dock, talking with Nate
3.    Talking about books and writing with Kiley
4.    Crafting and talking about motherhood with Erin
5.    Planting and harvesting a garden with Phil
6.    Reading with my granddaughters
7.    Listening to my parents stories of growing up back in the day
8.    Playing cards with my in-laws

The greatest thing about each of these gifts, it that they would also be a gift for me!

What would your gift of nothing be?  Who would you give it to?

Merry Christmas everyone-

As always,

Be good to yourself.

Clip art from Mutts by Patrick McDonnell

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