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A Different Kind of Gift

As the song says....”It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Shop owners love this time of year! The holiday season brings busy days filled with shoppers searching for just the right gift for someone special in their life. It can also be a hectic and stressful time of the year with too much to do and not enough time to do it in all the regular life stuff along with Holiday parties, shopping, Christmas cards, decorating and wrapping! We all need to take a moment and remember to breathe and enjoy this Season. This Season of giving. And I propose that we expand our definition of giving to include more than just a present under the tree. Let’s give a little more of ourselves, our attention, our time, our love.

I was recently reminded of how easy it is to keep our heads down and work on our to do lists. I was in the shop working on checking in some recently consigned items. I was determined to push through and get as much done as possible. When I looked up, an older gentleman was entering the store. I welcomed him as he carried a large bag of clothes to the counter. He was a handsome man, well dressed and well put together. He mentioned that he had called and was told to stop in and his items would be reviewed to see if they would be a good fit for the shop.

I was slightly skeptical. It’s rather unusual for men to come in and set up accounts with us. But I was intent on getting back to my task at hand-ticketing the many bags at my feet, so I didn’t give it much thought. I told him I would peek at what he had. What a nice surprise to find a bag filled with such lovely items. Now, he had my attention. I connected his dapper appearance and the stylish clothes in the bag and asked, “Are you in retail? These are fabulous items!” I was head down in business mode. When I looked up, I realized the man’s head was tilted-he hesitated and said, “No, these were my wife’s things.” That’s when I stood up. I looked him right in the eyes and said, “I am very sorry for your loss.” He said, he was sorry, too. I thanked him for choosing me to honor his wife by continuing her love of fashion by sharing it with others.

As I continued to check the items in, I told him I thought I would have liked his wife and wished that I had the chance to meet her. If her clothes were any indication of the kind of woman she was, then she appeared to have been a classic gal with a bit of a sassy air. He smiled, lowered his head and nodded. He told me that he loved to make her happy. Looking nice...made her happy so he delighted in buying her these things. We chatted for a bit more before he went on his way and I returned to work.

It was a lovely reminder of what I already know. It’s too easy to get caught up in the doing. So easy to focus on the checking o an item on you to do list. I will remember what a lovely gift we exchanged with each other. The gift of someone’s time and attention. The gift of sharing a story about a loved one.

I purchased one of her lovely sweaters for myself. When I wear it, I will smile and remember.

May your Holiday Season be filled with many gifts like these! And-who am I kidding.... shoes, lots of shoes!!!

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