As some families are making Christmas shopping lists, others are just trying to figure out how they're going to get by during the holidays this year.

The price of everything seems to have gone up, and as we start the holiday gift-giving season I think it's important to put things in perspective for a moment and take a good hard look at what really matters this year.

The Gift Of Time13, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time13, Cori Skall
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I'm all for planning and getting a good deal. And it's fun when you get to experience that feeling of joy when your child unwraps that much-anticipated gift with a giant smile on their face.

The Gift Of Time6, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time6, Cori Skall
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But often the best gift you could ever give anyone costs absolutely nothing yet is the most valuable thing you have: your time.

The Gift Of Time2, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time2, Cori Skall
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These days, we are pulled in so many directions, and it seems our kids are being pulled in many, many more. To top it all off, stress for everyone has increased significantly in the last few years. It's so easy to get caught up in the mad dash that is life, and the holiday season.

The Gift Of Time3, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time3, Cori Skall
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But one thing I have noticed to be true in my little corner of the world is that most of the time, memories last longer than stuff. And it really doesn't take much to make fun memories.

The Gift Of Time4, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time4, Cori Skall
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What's nice about that, is you can make a memory, any time, any day ... for absolutely free! All you need is time.

The Gift Of Time5, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time5, Cori Skall
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When my kids and I ended up with COVID-19 a few years back during Christmas, we started this tradition of playing Christmas Bingo. It's something they look forward to the most around the holidays now. For the cost of a bag of Hershey's peppermint kisses and about an hour, these are memories that will last longer than anything I could buy from a store or order online.

The Gift Of Time10, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time10, Cori Skall
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And you don't need a giant chunk of time, just a few solid minutes can lock in a lifetime feeling of happiness for your kid. For instance, we try to eat dinner together as a family as much as we can. It's about 20 minutes but adds so much value to our day.

The Gift Of Time7, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time7, Cori Skall
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Recently, after dinner and homework had been finished, and the kids had some downtime to chill, I called them all into my room. Now, I have a pretty big bed. And on that bed, there's usually a pretty big pile of laundry. But that didn't matter. Because I picked each of my kids up, and while shouting out "whoop!", I tossed them each into the pile on the bed. Then I proceeded, to their complete surprise, to take a flying leap onto it, myself. You should have seen the shock on their faces!

The Gift Of Time11, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time11, Cori Skall
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"Mom just messed up the laundry pile! What's happening?!" It was priceless! After about a 10-minute tickle session, during which even my oldest, who is too cool for school, got his rear-end handed to him, we scattered our separate ways to do some chores before bedtime.

The Gift Of Time8, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time8, Cori Skall
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What struck me the most about this, was that as I kissed them each goodnight, later in the evening, they each, unsolicited, commented on how much fun it was to spend time together and be silly.

Time.

Time is the currency by which our kids fill their banks.

Time is what they value most. And who could blame them?

So many of us spend our time looking at screens more than we do at the faces of the people who mean the most to us. That includes grown-ups, spouses, and friends ... not just our kids.

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You wanna give the best gift this holiday season ... or any day of the week?

Spend some time with the ones you love. Plan even a simple outing together.

The Gift Of Time1, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time1, Cori Skall
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Go for a family walk.

Brewer Walk, Cori Skall
Brewer Walk, Cori Skall
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Play a board game. Take a drive to the beach. Pile onto the couch or a big bed to watch a family movie.

The Gift Of Time9, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time9, Cori Skall
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Make a meal together. Go Mini golfing.

Mini golf, Cori Skall
Mini golf, Cori Skall
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Go bowling.

Bowling, Cori Skall
Bowling, Cori Skall
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Make cocoa at home, throw on some coats, and pile into your car to look at some holiday light displays with your kids.

Time with family 2, Cori Skall
Time with family 2, Cori Skall
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Get some hula-hoops and have an impromptu hula-hoop competition in the middle of your street.

The Gift Of Time12, Cori Skall
The Gift Of Time12, Cori Skall
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They say "time is money." Well, it's so much more, isn't it?

The Gift Of Time14, Memory Maker Photography
The Gift Of Time14, Memory Maker Photography
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Because there's always more money to be earned. But time? Well, you can't renew that resource. So spend it wisely!

And if you're looking to get a gift for a family you love, giving a gift that enables them to spend time together, like a gift card for an outing or activity or a meal...those work in the same spirits, as well.

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