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The $5 Christmas

Christmas in our home always abounded with presents, food, and festivities.

One year, however, was financially trying because my husband was unemployed, my son-in-law was attending medical school, and both sons had recently returned from LDS Church missions. The money we did have was centered on "Santa" gifts for the children.

For the adults, names were drawn and each person was limited to purchasing a $5 gift for another. Then, each one of us agreed to give $20 to a charity or some worthy cause even though it seemed like a lot of money at the time. The only requirement in gifting the money was that it must make someone's life better, if only for a short time.

Finding a meaningful gift for $5 or less was quite challenging, and yet, it is the one Christmas that we all remember the one gift we received and the thoughtfulness expressed.

We remember the pair of shoelaces for Dad's work boots, a doormat for Mom, a music single of someone's favorite song and a neck chain for Grandma's glasses. Sharing the $20 is even more memorable than the gifts we each received — one person gave to the Salvation Army, another gave to an old school acquaintance who was homeless, and two of us found a stranger alone walking along Main Street on Christmas Eve.

It was a time when less for us and more for others turned out to be the most memorable and appreciated Christmas in our family.

Katie Newman lives in Stansbury Park.