This past weekend I attended the huge Tea Party rally in Washington D.C. . While I was there, I thought about getting some gifts for my children, but I really didn't want to spend an arm and a leg for all the over priced junk at the Smithsonian, or other souvenir carts they had all over town. As we marched up to the Capitol building, we passed by a Buckeye tree growing on the Capitol lawn, and there were nuts all over the ground. In a flash I decided to pick some up for my children. ( It helps if you understand that the Buckeye tree is Ohio's state tree.) When I got home, I explained to them that these small buckeyes were a good symbol of our freedom. We live in a republic, with each state loosely connected by the federal government, and the Buckeye tree reminded me of that. You could see all the different trees on the lawn there, each it's own little world, but because they were on the Capitol lawn, They were protected and kept safe from harm by the gardeners there. Just like our relationship between the states and the federal government. (Maybe it is a stretch, but it was a sort of profound thought at the time.) So I gave them to my children and asked them to keep them in their pockets for awhile, to remind them about their freedom. For the next couple of days they were all like oops, I lost my freedom. Look mom, I'm abusing my freedom! Smart alecs. Anyway, it got me thinking, what else could you give as a small gift that someone could keep in their pocket? A small charm for their key ring that symbolizes your relationship, or a marble (for some extra sanity) or maybe a small polished stone or shell that you picked up on the beach when you were away together? Gifts don't have to be expensive to be meaningful. Sometimes it really is the thought that counts.
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