My Italian Grandma gave me the forever gifts of her big, strong hugs and soft, gentle kisses. My Momís sweet smile, twinkling eyes, and joyful laughter were gifts which lit up my life for so many years. My Dad gave me the gifts of his wisdom and common sense even though I didnít always use them. My brothers gave me the gift of time. Although I was several years younger they always made the time to play with their "little brother." My first dog gave me the gift of unconditional love and loyalty. A beautiful girl gave me the gift of my first kiss which made me tingle from head to toe. A favorite teacher gave me the gift of seeing that learning can be a joy instead of a job. My children gave me the gifts of tiny arms wrapped around my neck and "I love you Daddy" whispered in my ear. So many beautiful souls blessed me with the gift of their friendship. I also got gifts in the smiles of strangers, the hugs of neighbors, and the kind letters from people all over the world who had read my writings. Each one of them was precious. Each one of them was eternal.
Not a single one of these forever gifts could be bought in a store. They all had to be given from the heart. They wonít break, rust, or rot either. Instead I will carry them in my soul all through this life and into the next. This Christmas then and every day of the year give your own forever gifts to those you love. Remember too the wise words of Leo Buscaglia: "This life you are given is Godís gift to you and how you live it is your gift to God."