Victoria’s Secrets: The best gifts are free

Huge illuminated menorah with round lamps and lighted Jewish symbol David’s star on blurry background of Christmas tree in Berlin Germany. Night cityscape with Hanukah decorations
Wishing all my dear readers a Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas! (Photo via Getty Images)

It’s not often that both Chanukah and Christmas coincide and what a wonderful thing it is for all of us.

A big part of the holiday tradition is giving gifts, and in our family, we give gifts for every night of Chanukah. It’s such a joyful experience. 

Although gifts are fabulous to share, it is equally important to nurture our souls, so we may nurture others.

One of the things that struck me while driving around is that beauty is everywhere and sometimes the best gifts are free. 

Lighting the menorah with Jesse Warren, mayor of Southampton Village

I think the fact that we have beautiful sights, starting with the picture-perfect blue sky and puffy clouds, is a great gift each day. Additionally, having the opportunity to observe local wildlife such as swans, ducks and even geese, although they’re not very welcoming, is a gift. And then, of course, there are deer and wild turkeys roaming to enjoy from a distance. 

A swan in the Shinnecock Canal (Photo by Dr. Peter Michalos)

These are all gifts to me and I wonder if we all can stop and think about our surroundings and how the beauty that surrounds us enhances our lives. I’m grateful to appreciate nature and its changing theme every day is a wonderful gift.

I don’t know quite how that translates for children wanting “things,” but I get it. 

Geese in Agawam Park in Southampton (Photo by Dr. Peter Michalos)

I’m happy to be giving, but the beauty around me has great nourishment. Sometimes the best things in life are free, like the smiles of children opening presents. 

Our family celebrated the first of the eight days of Chanukah with my daughter Samantha serving her celebrated brunch, including my favorite bagels, lox and sable and traditional potato latkes (fried pancake patties), as well as her luscious, creamy French toast loaf.

It was truly delightful to see my grandkids gleefully opening their gifts. It gave me pleasure to buy them, but I got the best gift of all: their biggest smiles and hugs!

The best things in life are free, like the glee and pure joyful happiness on children’s faces after they open their gifts!

While walking or driving through the neighborhood, it feels so good to see the sparkling lights on every street and the sincere smiles of holiday greetings I get and now send to you, my dear readers!

Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!