A Gift of Time


By Sheila Zimmerman

The holidays are coming and everyone starts trying to figure out what to buy and for whom?

The most expensive gift and the most memorable gift you could give your children and grandchildren is “the gift of time.”

Nineteen years ago when my first grandchild was born, I thought how do I want to be remembered? With the toy that will be long gone and discarded or the video game outdated? How will I be remembered on those special days? So I decided to tell my grandchildren, you have the best gift of all, “us.” After they looked at us trying to figure out where the toys and games were, well I said, I created a special mystery day for you. I’ll give you clues and the date and you can try and figure out where we are going. We started with small trips, like a visit to an alpaca farm. When they were older, I hired a former FBI/police detective to take us all on a crime tour of New York City. They got to ask all the questions and learn about DNA and where the famous murders occurred.

Every year I planned a different mystery trip. The eight-day trip was the most exciting. It took them three months to figure out the first clues, so they had no idea where they were going. I’ll just tell you the first clue, “It’s dark and it’s cold and it’s very old. It has a moat and a boat. Where are we going?” See you if you can figure it out.

We also started a monthly poker night and dinner. They are still saying to each other, “Which was your favorite trip?” Now that they are older, I am still the gift. What is the plan for this year? One thing I know for sure, these gifts will never be lost or broken or forgotten. It wasn’t hard to do, you just need a little imagination. I know trying to figure out what to buy them would have been a lot harder. I hope you will consider yourself as the best gift of all.


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