My fiancée and I were sitting in traffic last week, driving north for a weekend of family holiday visits. As I gazed at all of the over-filled cars on the road, I started thinking about what we'd packed and remembered it wasn't much more than an overnight bag.
With a sense of appreciation, I realized there wasn't much in the way of gifts in the back of the vehicle. No high calorie pies and candies, no large expensive gifts – Really nothing more than a few small gifts that made us think of our loved ones when we purchased them.
What we really were giving them was time and a chance to spend it together. We'd covered several hundreds of miles of highway and went from home to home. We tried to spend as much quality time with everyone as we could, to catch up on their lives and how each person had grown since we last saw them. From their perspective (and certainly from ours too!) that was the best gift they could receive from family that lives several hours away.
I know it's tough to stay grounded in the middle of a hectic, shopping-laden holiday season, but these moments remind me that not everything has a price tag. And if you ask the people most important in your life, I would guess a couple hours of good conversation over a nice meal with you might rank pretty high on their wish list.
From our ETB family to yours, enjoy a safe and happy holidays. Thanks for your business and make it a great day!