The Gift of Time

As a blogger, I feel it is my duty to fulfill certain holiday requirements. My Facebook newsfeed is overflowing with photos of friends’ babies in adorable holiday outfits, Instagrams of pals at Christmukkah cocktail parties, and posts from other bloggers on how to make decorations from discarded items they found on the side of the road. It’s simply that time of year.

For the past few weeks I’ve been brainstorming ideas for holiday decor and hosting to share with you but I haven’t been able to write them down. I’m no scrooge and I think you all know how I feel about gold spray paint but, this year, my heart just isn’t in it. And that’s because all I want for Christmas this year is more time.

Before you go jumping to conclusions and sending me hate mail for being selfish, allow me to explain. When I say I want more time, I don’t mean more time in the day, or even more time for myself. What I want more than anything is more time with my loved ones; time with friends far away; time with family I’ve lost; time that I can never get back no matter how hard I may wish for it. And, specifically, this Christmas, I really just want more time with my sweet little dog.


You see, my fur-baby has been very sick for almost two years. My poor little Twinkie girl has seen specialist after specialist, hopping from neurologist to physical therapist to, yes, even an acupuncturist. After eighteen months of hard work she went from having seizures, barely able to walk unassisted, to playing and frolicking down the street. We thought we had things figured out and Twinkie was in the clear.


And then she suddenly relapsed.

After a consultation with our third canine neurologist in twenty months, MRI scans confirmed we finally had a correct diagnosis. However, while a Chiari Malformation may be curable, it’s certainly not an easy (or inexpensive) surgery. I’m sure there are lots of reactions to this type of diagnosis, and probably many people who feel that canine neurosurgery falls into the “nonessential” category. Well, I’m simply not that person. Twinkie is my Sweetie-Beep and, if it’s possible to buy the hands of one of the greatest canine neurosurgeons in the land, then I personally see no other alternative.


All other holiday plans and traditions have been ignored this year. There are no presents. There are no trips. There are no parties. There aren’t even many groceries in my kitchen. The Scientist and I have literally taken change out of our piggy bank to the bank. We have been scrimping and saving to afford our Twinkie a chance at a pain-free, happy dog life. And all of this has really gotten me thinking about what matters most to me.

And that’s time.


While the Holiday Season is one filled with joy, I know it can also be a time of stress and pain. I am certain there are many who feel the loss of loved ones cut deeper on Christmas morning. So rather than post about DIY wreaths and cocktail party canapés, I’d like to offer up something else. As I sit in the hospital waiting room, I will make a suggestion to all of you:

Hug your family a little bit tighter today. Kiss your babies one more time. Step away from the gift ideas page on Amazon and instead consider giving the priceless gift of your time to those in need or the people you love most. Because no matter how much money someone may have or their situation in this life, there’s one thing money can’t buy and we can never ever possibly have enough of… And that, my friends, is time.


Make the most of it this Holiday Season.

22 thoughts on “The Gift of Time

  1. Lyndsey says:

    Thanks for sharing Kerra, so well written and a true reminder about what’s important in life, especially during the holidays. My thoughts are with you guys, and to a speedy Twinkie recovery.

  2. Koncius, Jura says:

    This is soooo real… thank you for writing it.
    And I am hoping hoping hoping that Twinkie is okay.

    So sorry this had to happen. But you are so right about the holidays and what is important…

  3. Pamela RWK says:

    Sending up prayers & good thoughts for Twinkie and all who love her. I hope your holiday season proves to be all that you wish for. Blessings to you three.

  4. Leslie says:

    Thinking of you while your little one is being “worked on”! I feel the same way about my babies…one cat has been through bladder stone removal, and one is going through hyperthyroidism right now…gotta save money for the radioactive iodine tx thats basically a cure :) hope you many more snuggles with your little baby soon!!

  5. Sarah C. says:

    What a thoughtful post. You are so right, and I appreciate reading your heartfelt words this holiday season. As someone with two dogs, both of whom have needed specialist care (the MRI folks are used to seeing me every spring, it seems), I understand your commitment to Twinkie and the idea of her care being essential. One of the nicest things that my friends did during a difficult time was just to understand that I was not feeling particularly social; they brought lunches & dinners to the house, and they just visited with me here as I cuddled our sweet girl. (I am pleased to say that years later she is doing well, a very happy surprise for us all.) So if you are ever feeling a bit lonely, just know that so many people support you. People you know, and people you may not know (yet). Sending all good wishes & warm thoughts your way!

  6. Anne says:

    Hope all goes well for your little Twinkie. I have two ankle biters of my own and they are my family, it will be heartbreaking when I have to say good-bye. Wishing you blessings for the holiday and a speedy recovery for Twinkie in the New Year ~ Anne

  7. Lola Ortiz says:

    Hi Kerra,
    I appreciate you being so, so honest on your blog. It is not a matter right” or “wrong” to spend lots of money on your dog; takes courage to stand for what one feels, for doing what one considers right to do, regardless other people opinion.. and as you say, regardless of the pressure of celebration in this time of the year. Mostly, I think it was great you stepping over what you are “supposed” to post on your blog this time of the year, and choosing to write a post about nothing else than what was going on on your heart.
    I consider you gave us a truly Christmas gift :)
    Congrats on your new web, btw. Gorgeous!
    Hope he is feeling better!

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