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It is the thought that counts

December 22, 2014
by Kathleen Mears
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Since I have limited resources this year, my family told me not to buy Christmas gifts. Hearing that, it made me sad. I know people in my life do not need a gift from me, but getting them something special or useful makes me feel like a participant. For months I have been thinking and looking for gifts within my price range. After all, giving is a part of Christmas and it is a part of life. A well-thought-out gift can be a treasure.

I wrote a poem for my sister for her birthday in June. She was pleased. It is first artsy thing I have given her, other than gifts I used to craft myself. Writing the poem allowed me to pull something out of my brain that now belongs to her.

My niece Meredith's birthday is in early December, and I have always given her a present. The other day a gift idea popped in my head. I found a good deal on it, bought it and sent it to her. She will also receive a black-and-white card I designed and made on my computer.

Then I went to a jewelry-making website where I found a great deal on small stainless steel hoop earrings months ago. I chose three or four items at a great price for Meredith's Christmas gift. A gift for her is important to me since I will not see her at Christmas.

Since I do not want to give up our gift-giving tradition, I found a useful Christmas gift each for my sister and brother-in-law.

I think some nursing home residents, particularly older ones, just forget about holidays because they no longer are actively involved in the celebration. Some can no longer afford to be givers.

For me, giving to others takes my mind off myself. This time of year we can become self-centered. We consider where we are and dream about where we would rather be. I think most people would like to be home, whatever they perceive home to be.

This year, I am trying to make the holidays merrier for staff and residents by keeping my mood bright. I want to be like the lit wreath on my wall with its colors shining brightly. Each of us can be a gift to someone just by being kinder.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...