200 Christmas cards plus postage … a little money.

Christmas gifts for husband, kids, extended family and friends … a bunch of money.

Airfare and rental car to visit the family out of state … a ridiculous amount of money.

Four generations of family sitting around the table playing “BS” and laughing until tears stream down our faces … priceless.

What’s your most priceless moment lately?

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Gabster on December 11, 2011 at 2:10 AM


    Fantastic blog post, saw on…

  2. Margo Kelly on January 3, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    >Our family loves to play “BS” and other games. Interestingly enough, I went to the funeral of a friend today and a speaker listed out memories from the grandchildren… the majority of which were based around playing games. Memories are built around this time spent together. It’s very valuable, even priceless. Yes.

  3. Leigh D'Ansey on December 29, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    >Watching the tired-out almost-three-year-old grandson go to his big brother (four) for a hug when Christmas just got too much. They're normally a competitive pair so these few moments of quiet brotherly communion were very special.

  4. LaShaunda on December 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    >Playing in fresh snow with my 3yr old. Watching his face light up when he threw snow balls at me. I'm not a snow girl, but playing in the snow with my son I could imagine I was a snow girl.

  5. Martha Randolph Carr on December 28, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    >Listening to my son, Louie and his friends as they sat around the kitchen table coming up with their miracles from the past ten years. It was sweet, that's almost half of their ages and it was poignant and inspiring. I also found out there's something in Chicago called 'the Naked Bike Ride'.

  6. Tamara on December 27, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    >Having my dad tell everyone on his Christmas list that he expects to see me on the best seller list someday. It's good to have the support of my family.

  7. MJR on December 27, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    >being umemployed and spending way too much and feeling guilty about it…

    fun but super-intense family Christmas parties….

    a day-after-Christmas blizzard when I could relax with my family, drink hot chocolate, and read my new books…priceless

  8. Smol Dusaran on December 27, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    >When I go on a weekend trip, I usually shed a lot of bucks on food, lodging, and ridiculously expensive airfare rates. What's priceless? The whole experience of a different place, a different language, a different set of smiles. It's worth every penny, every single time.

  9. Jean Ann Williams on December 27, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    >After my husband passed out Bibles at a community dinner on Christmas day, two ladies asked if he could spare two more. One lady said, "We're going to church for the first time tomorrow, and we didn't know where we were gonna get Bibles."

    Priceless to see the look on my husband's face that he had contributed to God's plan.

  10. Krista Phillips on December 27, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    >I haven't played BS in a LONG time…

    Playing spoons with my family is quite fun though too. My very docile mother once dove over the coffee table and wrestled me to the ground as we fought over a spoon. Now THAT was priceless.

    Spending time with my Annabelle at the hospital on Christmas… while sad… was priceless as well.

  11. Susan Bourgeois on December 27, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    >It was priceless celebrating the holidays with our three adult children and our new son-in-law.

    Taking the time to finally make Italian Stuffed Artichokes for the first time with my eldest child was priceless. This was my grandmother from New Orleans recipe. She was an incredible cook.

    This was the first holiday season where my husband's parents and my parents had all passed away.

    In honor of their lives and our strong southern traditions, we carry on many of their favorite recipes. This year we made sure to include all of the special desserts that were made annually by both of our families. We made pecan tarts, peanut butter fudge, chocolate pecan fudge, cocoons and pralines. We shared these treats with close friends as gifts.

    These treats were so beautiful spread out on a huge Christmas platter. We all realized that even though they are no longer with us, they will be with us forever in spirit. We felt like all of them were smiling down from heaven and were fully aware that they were in our hearts.

    We feel blessed to have had all of them in our lives for so many wonderful years.

  12. Ariel on December 27, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    >Yup. I understand all of this. šŸ™‚

  13. PT on December 27, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    >My 86-year old mother has strong Altzheimer, to the point that she has often troubles to remember her childrens names, tires very easily, gets confused more than not etc. This Xmas day she, my sister and I were at my niece's house.

    After the dinner mother retired to the sofa. My niece's 2-year old daughter approached her with a book (a reprint of a nursery rythm -type of title our mother read us when we were young) and asked: "Great-ma-ma, would you read to me?".

    Which my mother did – reading the poems, going through the pictures, asking question just like she did with us. The young one sat next to her, very carefully, just slightly resting her hand to my mother's arm and pointing on the pictures and conversing with Great-ma-ma's.

    That situation brought something back to my mother as you could hear how her voice got stronger and she was completly immersed on sharing the moment with her great-granddaughter, even remembering her name without any hesitation.

    My sister and I watched and listened from the dining room, tears in our eyes.

    That was priceless.

  14. Jennifer Welborn on December 27, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    >My 10 month old niece likes to rip paper. We always tell her, "No, no" when she does. Then on Christmas we did the exact opposite and tried to tell her to rip the paper. She looked at her mom and slapped her mom's hand off the gift and said, "No, no!" It was hilarious. We all laughed so hard we were crying.

  15. Rachel Overton on December 27, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    >Spending a night in prayer for a friend who was told she would not make it through the night. Being told in the morning that the fever had broken, the antiboiotics were working, and she was expected to make a full recovery. On top of that, her tumor markers had dropped ANOTHER 10 percent. (She was pronounced terminal from liver cancer a month ago.) And then to hear that the doctor told her husband that he did not believe that medicine had brought her through–that he believed only their faith had saved her life. And then he spoke to my friend's husband for hours about God and faith. And asked to study the Bible again the next day. God is working on a brilliant doctor in Frankfurt Germany…and working miracles in my friend Kerri even as I type.

    Priceless hardly describes it! Thank you, Lord. You alone are worthy of this praise.

  16. Stephanie Shott on December 27, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    >Watching hubby make sugar cookies with the grandgirl on Christmas eve – priceless!

  17. James L. Rubart on December 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    >Last night: Building a domino display around the kitchen with my sons, filming it when we knocked it down, playing poker together, watching two episodes of FRINGE, then sleeping together in my oldest son's secret room.

  18. Jaime on December 27, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    >My priceless moment was my little 12 mo. old collapsing beside me on the couch in utter exhaustion after her first Christmas, burying her face in my shoulder and going "mmm, mmm" like it was the most heavenly moment of her Christmas. And then, when she fell fast asleep, watching her little lips tip in a smile and a giggle escaping from some dreamworld she had entered. šŸ™‚

  19. Joanne Bischof on December 27, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    >Watching my 20 month old daughter play with her new teapot that says "more please" and "thank you" each time she pours–then watching her nearly tackle her younger cousin for touching it. I'm so glad she is learning her manners šŸ˜€

  20. Florence on December 27, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    >Since I couldn't be with my New York family this year, we wrote emails and cards. My Florida and Ohio families made me feel loved.

    We did the one gift to each and saved money. I didn't fly and saved money.

    When all was said and done, I looked at the time. They would all be gathered around my brother's table in Scarsdale. I called.

    I was able to talk to everyone, especially my big brother. He's one of those men of few words who always hands the phone to his wife.

    My most precious moment was when we sat and talked and he didn't hand the phone over. We were all shocked and I was delighted.

    Thanks for sharing your precious moment as well. šŸ™‚

  21. Glynn on December 27, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    >Watching my 9-month-old grandson laugh himself silly to see his Uncle Andrew dance "the Bernie," some crazy new YouTube thing. Then the whole family joined in and we were all laughing ourselves silly.

  22. George on December 27, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    >Couple of days before Christmas my author copy of first ever published children's story arrived (short story in anthology. The best christmas present ever!!

  23. Sharon A. Lavy on December 27, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    >Priceless~ sharing our home with Mother-in-love for the winter.(at least)

    She has mellowed over the years, and I have mellowed.

    As we prepared the room for her, husband wondered if our Savior is as excited preparing a place for us to join Him in heaven, as we were in preparing the room for husband's mother.

  24. Lori Benton on December 27, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    >Giggling on the phone last night with my dad and stepmom, sharing our enthusiasm for a singer and his newest album.

    Everyone in my family, both sides, for the moment in good health. No major crisis anyway!

  25. Catherine West on December 27, 2010 at 8:12 AM

    >Having my two kids both home, hanging out and having fun together, and watching crazy hilarious videos that my son made and put out there for all the world to see – truly priceless!

  26. Wendy Paine Miller on December 27, 2010 at 7:56 AM

    >I got to touch a manatee in its natural habitat! One came right up to my kayak. Oh, and Iā€™m thankful we made it through the blizzard last night. The roads were a mess.

    Walking in our door last night and giving my mom hugs last week…priceless.

    ~ Wendy

  27. Lisa Jordan on December 27, 2010 at 7:54 AM

    >Priceless–having my seventeen-year-old son bounce on my bed at 6:30 a.m. "Mommy, it's Christmas. Get out of bed."

    Priceless–laughing over a family joke about Santa–you had to be there.

    Priceless–collecting quotes on Christmas morning for the scrapbook.

    Priceless–listening to the poem my nineteen-year-old nephew wrote for my brother and sister-in-law that brought everyone to tears.

    Priceless–spending Christmas with those who love me unconditionally.

  28. Sue Harrison on December 27, 2010 at 7:12 AM

    >"Opening" a surprise Christmas gift from my husband… I needed more light in my kitchen, so he wired in a switch that turns on a light when I open one of my little spice drawers.

  29. Jessica Nelson on December 27, 2010 at 6:16 AM

    >Hmm, I think the whole family experience was pretty wonderful. The food and the presents, etc. šŸ™‚ I'm glad you had a sweet holiday!

  30. Bonnie R. Paulson on December 27, 2010 at 5:17 AM

    >Having the chance to say goodbye to my only brother and his family as they move across the States for an Airforce assignment. I miss them so much already! I won't even get to meet my new niece/nephew until the baby's about a year old.

  31. Nicolette on December 27, 2010 at 4:40 AM

    >Watching ym youngest son who has Asperger's get the point of Christmas and seeing his face as he opens up his presents.