For Christmas 2012 I asked my kids not to buy me gifts. Instead, I asked each of them to give me five hours of labor. Two are in college so I knew money was tight which is why I thought that labor in lieu of a gift would be a good thing for them. They all agreed and I don’t know how good a thing it was for them but for me it was the best present ever!
For weeks before Christmas as I waited for the two oldest to come home from college, I plotted how I would use those five precious hours. While five hours times three kids sounds like a lot of time, when I started to divide it among all the things I wanted done, it began to look pretty puny. I admit I became a little obsessed about not wasting it, about making it really count. What should I use it on?
A family portrait? Yard work? Closet cleaning? Rearranging furniture? Cleaning blinds, windows, kitchen and bathroom cabinets? Detailing cars? Getting them to do their wills and healthcare power of attorneys? Attending a Christmas movie or play together? Getting them to pay attention while I teach them a few things I forgot to teach them before they reached young adulthood? (yeah, right, dream on mom) Cleaning out the garage? or, or, or…
The possibilities seemed endless. It was so hard to choose! I finally decided it needed to be something that would help me move into my quickly approaching new life as an empty-nester. And once I looked at it from that angle the answer became obvious.
So what did I choose? Find out in next Monday’s post. But here’s a hint. It was none of the things I mentioned above.
In the meantime, if you had a crew of three young, strong adults willing to labor for five hours apiece for you, what would you choose?