Letters From The Hart Give us a call! 239-437-4278 or visit www.TimHartJr.com Corporate NMLS #3035 www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org
Every year, when my wife and kids ask me what I want for Christmas, I draw a blank. I know it’s not useful to them, but really — and this is going to sound cheesy — I feel like I already have everything I need. Ever since about high school, I’ve never much gone for the “stuff-centered” parts of the holiday season, at least for myself. All I care about is that my wife and kids have a blast and that we set aside some time to all hang out together. These days, Christmas is a lot more relaxed than it was in the past. We used to have to cruise all over town, from my parents’ house to my in-laws’ to everywhere in between. Now, my mom and the in-laws make the trip out to us. My mom spends the night on Christmas Eve and joins us for the following day’s celebrations. Then, we’ll all take turns opening gifts throughout the day, just ambling around, chatting, and laughing. That way, we avoid the “pack of hyenas” strategy where everybody just falls on the pile of presents in a frenzy like it’s a downed caribou and you can’t tell who’s opening what or who received what from whom. The tricky part nowadays is to avoid spoiling the kids. Come mid-October, Amazon packages start showing up on our porch nearly every day, and it gets to the point where we’re practically on a first-name basis with the neighborhood UPS guy. But, of course, the kids love it. My middle son was literally putting together his Christmas list in late July, just adding anything interesting that came into his line of sight. When you’re shopping, you need to find that delicate balance between getting the kids bigger-ticket items and having enough small stuff that nobody feels shortchanged on the big day. Admittedly, this job is mostly up to my wife — if anything were to happen to her, my kids’ Christmas would be a complete disaster. And when it comes to gifts for her, I’ve learned a few lessons. Namely, never get her anything that involves the kitchen without asking her if it’s something she really needs. EVERYTHING I COULD POSSIBLY WANT What I Love Most About Christmas
Last year, my mom gave perhaps one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever seen. For each one of the kids, she gave them a little photo book with a story about my late dad, chock-full of pictures of each kid and their grandpa. Not only was it emotional for me — I’ll be the first to admit that I cried like a baby when I first saw the books — it was unreal for the kids, as well. I still see my oldest pulling it off the shelf and flipping through it every once in a while. When you’re a little kid, memories of your loved ones can easily blur and distort, so it was just so meaningful for all of us to have those little mementos. I can’t even imagine how emotional it must have been to put the books together for my mom, too. I deeply appreciate all of the work she put in. But whether it’s a steamer basket I get for my wife that quickly turns into the butt of an ongoing Christmas morning joke, or an incredibly thoughtful and meaningful gift from my mother, we all have fun spending time together. For me — and I’m sure many parents will agree — the gifts are secondary to being able to sit down in a room together to enjoy each other’s company. Call me cheesy, but that’s what the holidays are all about.
– Tim Hart NMLS #354676
VanDyk Mortgage | www.TimHartJr.com | 239-437-4278
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