I can remember the holiday season bringing up complex feelings of hope and sadness as a young man growing up. For several years I fell victim to the consumer sickness and wanted lots of presents. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, depending on how you decide to view it, I did not live in a situation that permitted me with such a luxurious experience. On the other hand, my peers at school seemed to receive everything they could hope for and more. They would return in January with dirt bikes, new brand-name clothes, and all the latest toys and gadgets. I would keep my mouth shut, but inside I felt left out and confused. Many of them had bad grades and were mean to others, so I did not understand why their parents rewarded them. I began to assume it was a benefit of having both parents. Some of my friends had divorced parents and they tended to get twice as many gifts. As youth we are often drawing inaccurate conclusions as we try to navigate troubled times. I thought my friends were happy and better off because of how awesome their gifts were. Now, I realize that the little time my mother spent with me between working multiple jobs to provide for us was still more genuine than what my peers got with either parent. Let us make sure our time is well spent as no gift we give can make up for quality time with loved ones. More can be exchanged between two people who have learned to be than in a thousand gifts of gold.