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The Glories of Christmas; Gifts Past and Yet-To-Be

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We all go through some hard times. Perhaps not like we are about to experience, but hard. Hard times teach us things that otherwise we would not probably learn.


This Christmas many people are buying less. Many families are buying just one gift for each child instead of filling up the places under the Christmas tree. All of us will learn unexpected lessons in the months and years to come as our nation is humbled. If you had not guessed, that is going to happen.

 

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I suspect that those lessons learned will eventually be viewed not as deprivation but as experiences that refocused us, enriching our lives in ways we did not imagine possible. Hardships bring their own kinds of gifts.


Many children are now learning what it means to have a job far earlier than they imagined it would be necessary. And yet the most significant correlation between future success and experience is how early you held a job and carried it out successfully.

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Working is no hardship.


You could say that my first job was ironing handkerchiefs and shirts for my sister. I received $.01 per kerchief, $.15 per dress shirt. At first it took a long time for each kerchief and shirt. I got better and faster.


This was before anything was permanently pressed. I was around seven years old then and my mother used to move the ironing board down as low as possible to accommodate me. I piled the kerchiefs up carefully and buttoned up the shirts so they would not wrinkle.

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My next job was selling lemonade and candy bars. The lemons were free. I walked to Savon to buy the candy bars; three for a dime, selling them for a nickel each. We had a lemon tree in the back yard at that point in time. The lemon tree figured in a special part of my life when I was young. Not only did I climb the tree and pick lemons to make that lemonade, I learned important things there.


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Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is the author of GREED: The NeoConning of America and A Tour of Old Yosemite. The former is a novel about the lives of the NeoCons with a strong autobiographical component. The latter is a non-fiction book about her father (more...)
 
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