OUR VIEW: Time is a priceless gift

It doesn’t cost anything and it will always be treasured

The mall parking lots are filling to the capacity for which they’ve been designed. The data lines to credit card companies are humming to the tune of more than $28 billion in Canadian retail sales in December.

Shoppers wearied from all that spending fill the food courts and benches. But in our frantic pursuit of the perfect Christmas gift, we often overlook the one that won’t strain our budget or tax our patience for lines at the checkout counter. Our time.

Each of us has an annual time account of 8,760 hours. That’s more than half a million minutes.

While a certain amount of that time must be alloted to sleeping, eating and earning a living, there’s still plenty to spare.

Time to spend with family and friends. Time to help out in the community, volunteering with organizations that bring comfort and assistance to those in need or less fortunate.

Time to lend a hand on the sidelines and benches of kids sports teams, teaching young people valuable lessons of camaraderie and sportsmanship that will stay with they their whole lives. Time to lead a troup of scouts or girl guides. Time to cook a meal or weed the garden for a lonely senior. Time to give a shelter dog a respite from its cage with a noon hour walk or to help the staff with cleaning and feeding the animals. Time to make the world a cleaner place by helping to clean a ravine or count salmon swimming upstream to spawn. Time to open a door for someone whose arms are laden with parcels. Time to wish a stranger a Merry Christmas.

The gift of time is, well, timeless. It doesn’t require batteries or complicated instructions. And, best of all, it doesn’t cost money. But it will always be treasured.

– Black Press