Bigger & Harman, APC - December 2019




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A GIFT WORTH GIVING How a Basketball Hoop Can Be so Much More

Christmas is about giving: from God to the world and from us to our loved ones. I feel like most people have a particular present from their childhood they look back on fondly. The classic example might be a bike, or maybe a dear stuffed animal. But for me, it was something else. It was a basketball hoop, the kind you keep in the driveway and scale in height. I loved that hoop and the games my family, friends, and I would play around it. Even during the dead of the Oregon winter, my dad and I would head out on snowy nights and shoot free throws on the packed snow with our gloves on. Thanks to memories like those, that one Christmas present has only grown in value with time. As longtime readers will know, I still love playing basketball. It’s something Paul and I bonded over at the outset of our friendship — and the urge to play is still there even if the knees protest. Not only did that old hoop help foster my love of basketball, but it also embodied my definition of a good gift. I’ve found that giving people experiences is more worthwhile than flashy objects. Sure, toys and books are great, but I usually try to pair them with something more when I can swing it. Flying my family out from freezing Michigan to come and enjoy the California sunshine, planning our trips to national parks, beaches, or famous roadways — these are my ideas of a great gift. You see, it’s not as much about the cost of the basketball hoop or the plane ticket that matters. It’s about giving the gift of some truly great memories. Objects lose their shine with time — even sturdy hoops eventually rust or just prove too unwieldy to move as you outgrow your home. But the time you

spend with people, the bonds you make with them, and the happy memories you create — those are gifts that last a lifetime.

This Christmas I’ll be going up to visit my parents and other loved ones back east. Even though they moved there from Oregon years ago, it still doesn’t quite feel like I’m going “home” for the holidays. But the location is all just a backdrop. Being with family, reminiscing, and having new experiences with them is what’s most important. Besides, I’ll always have my memories of shooting hoops with my dad as the snow came down on those cold Oregon nights. “Objects lose their shine with time — even sturdy hoops eventually rust or just prove too unwieldy to move as you outgrow your home.”

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year,

–Mark Bigger

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