I am an unusually bad gift-giver. In 1984, my brother and I bought my dad a Kenny Rogers cassette tape for Christmas. He said that he loved it and could not be more pleased. We found the unopened tape in his dresser about ten months later. We continued to give him the same Kenny Rogers tape every year for about the next five years.

Christmas shopping season has begun. With the season comes the indecision of what to buy the people that I care about along with the over-thinking of how it will be received.  Historically, my Christmas shopping has come down to that one dreaded day of the year that I meet a couple of friends of mine at the mall and we hold our breath, pinch our nose, swipe our credit cards, and take the medicine. Amazon has taken care of most of that (well, Amazon and Amanda. Amanda is an outstanding gift giver).

Two Christmases ago, Amanda and I received what has been one of our most cherished gifts. Our friend Drew “Womahawk” Womack called me over the holidays and said that he would like to stop by for a few minutes. Upon greeting Drew and conversing for a few minutes on the couch, he handed me an envelope. Within the envelope was a gift, and the gift began like this:

Dear Wilson and Amanda,

For Christmas last year, I decided to do something a little bit different, and now I am carrying on the tradition for a second year and I hope to continue for as long as it takes. Rather than buying “stuff” for the people I care about, I take some time to write short letters of thanks and appreciation, and I wanted to include you in this. I’m sorry; I would’ve handwritten this, but my handwriting is irredeemably awful…..

I have too much “stuff”. I give too much “stuff”. I receive to much “stuff”. I am surrounded by piles and piles of “stuff”; so much “stuff” that I forget that it is even a pile of “stuff” and soon just turns into a feeling of angst and a pile of confusion.

This year I hope to steal one from the ole Womahawk’s playbook and see if I can give something that comes from the heart; something that has some meaning; something that might, perhaps, make me or the recipient a little bit better of a person….

….or I might just buy a bunch of Kenny Roger’s tapes. It kinda depends on the mood, I guess.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,