Updated: Dec 26, 2020
An elderly man and a dear friend of mine always spoke strongly of the value of time spent with family and friends. He was a globe trotter during the summer and a subbing teacher during the rest of the year. He had myriad of stories and experiences he used to share. One of the many interesting things about him was how he used to sign his email. He would always sign it with TIME , Rod. For him time meant love. I believe that this past year taught us exactly that - The time you give to and are given by friends and family is not to be taken for granted because it's PRICELESS!
This lesson is well packed in the picture book “The Gift of Nothing” by Patrick McDonnell, a simple story with a powerful message. When I read this book I knew it would be the perfect story to bring the whole school together just before the holidays! We read the story in class and talked about the act of giving. What do you give someone who has “everything”? Nothing. But where do you find nothing in this material world? Inspired by the message in the story we figured that giving time to a friend is not giving nothing but rather giving a priceless gift. It is sharing of love! Students brought boxes to school (all shapes and sizes) and each student decorated a box for a friend in his/her class with a special message inside. We have arranged all the boxes in the library and each class came to find their special bunch. It was an amazing sight for the eyes! The colors, the creativity, the effort AND the time each child has put into personalizing a box for a friend were evident. The children truly enjoyed the box exchange and saw the value in the act of giving from a different perspective. The cherry on top was a surprise video message from the author and illustrator of the book, Patrick McDonnell. It added even more value to the whole event. Every child left school with a beautifully crafted box, a letter or a drawing from a friend and a big smile.
Time spent with your child, your parents and/or friends is the best gift of “nothing”! TIME is LOVE, don't you agree?