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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Diamond rings are memorable gifts at any age

By Diane Denning

November 25, 2008 | It is finally Christmas time. Everyone is busy buying those presents for those they love, and maybe for those they don't, but still have to buy a present for. Stores are having sales vying for people's attention. Children are making out their long wish lists. But what is it about Christmas that makes us spend our life savings on useless gifts we buy just because they are on sale? The bigger question is how many of those useless gifts do you actually remember years later?

It was over 15 years ago around this time of year. Our Christmas tree was up with bright white lights dancing on the branches. Snow had fallen, but was starting to melt and looked more brown than white. I was 4. I had my older sister Elizabeth, more commonly known as Buff, for Christmas this particular year. I knew exactly what to get her.

"Mom," I said bouncing off the wall with excitement. "I want to get Buff a diamond ring for Christmas!"

My mom looked at me with skepticism, but decided it was best to not try to change my mind. "Well, we will go look and see what we can find."

Our search began with the few stores in Mt. Pleasant, but quickly ended. None of these stores had the perfect ring. This ring needed to be pure gold with one big sparkling diamond in the middle. What more could a fifteen-year-old girl want?

Since Mt. Pleasant didn't have the ring I wanted, we looked in Provo on our next trip up. Finally, we found it. "Mom this is it," I said with a smile from ear to ear. "Can I get it?"

"It is $12.99," Mom said. "Are you sure you want to spend that much?"

Mom knew Buff wouldn't wear it very often, so she didn't want to spend that much money. I thought for about 30 seconds, but I knew this is the ring I wanted. I asked my mom how much money I had.

"Not quite that much," she replied. "If you want, I can buy the ring for you and you can help me around the house to pay for it."

"But mom," I said in annoyance.

"I guess you have to decide how bad you want it," my mom responded.

After thinking briefly, I decided it would be worth it.

"This is the perfect ring. Buff will love it," I said.

I was required to take my plate to the dishwasher, make my bed, and pick up my toys already. Now, with this deal, I wad required to clear the table after meals, empty the cups from the dishwasher and help my dad take out the trash.

I worked hard and completed my jobs as best as a four-year-old was capable. I carefully wrapped the ring, with my mom helping me on the corners.

"Now keep this a secret," my mom added. "You don't want Buff to know what it is before Christmas."

I carefully placed the wrapped present under the tree. It took all of my energy to not spill the beans and tell her what was inside the tiny box.

Finally, after much anticipation, it was Christmas morning. I was looking to see what Santa had left me, but I stopped to give Buff the special gift from me.

"Open this one Buff, open this one," I said bouncing up and down directly in front of her.

Buff carefully ripped off the paper. She gently shook the box, then took of the white lid. There it was in front of her. She looked down at the ring and then glanced at Mom. Mom had previously told Buff how excited I was, so to be happy when she opened it.

"I love it Di," she said with a forced smile, holding back laughter. "It is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen."

Buff put the ring on and proudly wore it the rest of the day. She kept it for years and each of the few times she wore it, she was reminded of the excitement I had shown that Christmas for a silly cubic zirconium ring.

Most of us can remember the Christmas presents we receive, but can you remember something you gave? Giving memorable gifts is what Christmas should be about. This year when you are fighting insane crowds, look for gifts that make you so excited you can't possibly wait until that special someone opens that gift from you. Make Christmas memorable and put some thought behind the presents you give this year.

NW
MS

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