The Perfect Gift: Happy, Young & Long-Lasting for Just $9.95

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The holiday season is a stressful time of year, and this year many families are feeling the crunch, making it even harder for those who are limited in their resources for giving gifts to their loved ones. In an attempt to help ease the stress, many writers and bloggers have published articles aimed at helping people by giving them suggestions on everything from books to make-it-yourself holiday baskets.

Yes, I know that gifts are optional. But let's be real, it doesn't matter who you are, Christmas means presents - especially for kids. Now most families will try to make sure that they have something for their little ones, but parents will also feel the guilt of not being able to give something to each other.

Now, I thought about this scenario for a while and then told my wife I did not want any presents. Not because of the money, but because I am so sad about some of the current problems we are all facing.

I sat there and reflected on the sad state of affairs this holiday season, when just like in the movie, Moonstruck, she hit me on the side of my head and said, "Snap out of it!"

So then I began to think about the perfect gift for me this Christmas. And that's when it came to me...the perfect gift for me would be something that would bring me joy, make me feel young, and last for a long, long time. Now I know what you're thinking - but that's not exactly what I had in mind. My perfect gift this year would be to reconnect with a long lost friend.

I told my wife that if she wanted to give me a great gift this year, it would be to find my best friend from high school. Now this guy was my buddy, who for all four years was always at my side, and with whom many of my fondest high school memories were shared. But somehow college, medical school, residencies and life in general had separated Joe and me for almost 30 years. Let's face it - I had forgotten about Joe. But this Christmas season, while thinking about my perfect gift, I remembered him.

Three days later, my wife called me up and said, "I found him and it only cost me $9.95." She had gone on the Internet and tracked him down through one of the many Web sites, that for a small fee, offer a lifetime of priceless memories. So she got his number and left a message, and for the next few hours, all of my kids waited around with me to see when Joe would call.

Later that evening, Joe called me back and for those 15 minutes of conversation with my old friend, I felt like I was in high school again.

Memories are good, but when you can make those memories a reality, they make you feel the way all holidays should make us feel_ Great.