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Joy of Giving A Gift When You Have No Money

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Real Estate BR632450000

Ok, as a kid I was mostly broke until I started to mow lawns and shovel snow for the neighbors.

We knew we WANTED gifts especially at Christmas. However, realizing it is better to give than to receive, we as kids were in a dilemma. Yes, we did the gift certificate thing drawing up a piece of paper promising to "wash the dishes" for a year or "take out the garbage". However that felt weak giving that gift as we knew were supposed to do those chores anyway. At least it was something to give but maybe with not the best motive.

I had needed to create something. Now, I was not a talented artist like my grandson is today but I came up with the idea of giving my mother a little comic book that would detail the life of being a kid. I copied the image of Charlie Brown from Charles Schulz the best I could and the Peanuts comics and created my own Walnut Series making me as the Charlie Brown character and incorporating me into the kid adventures. I loved Charlie  Brown.

Walnut Series Comic Books

It did not cost me any money just my time. Luckily, my Mom saved my little comic books I made in a little box (see picture) and she returned them all to me to keep during the last years of her life.

Being inspired through Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist and Dr. Paula McDonald as this month's Active Rain Blog challenge to share the joy of giving, I thought I would share some pages of my moneyless child comic books written as a gift to my mother. 

Walnut Series Emptying Garbage

I have to admit I did like to get gifts as a child especially the money bought ones like my 500 piece army soldier set as seen in the Sears Catalog, a gift which must have been a nuisance to my mother, especially when the battles were scattered over the living room carpet and the stairs. I received those soldiers for Christmas even though Mom knew these battles were looming.

The toy soldiers are long gone, however the moneyless kid comic books live on in that little box kept by my mother which I now have had on my own bookshelf the past several years. There was joy on both ends giver and receiver alike.... back in the day.

I miss you Mom.

Posted by

Jeff Masich


Scottsdale including Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott metros and throughout Arizona

Buy/Sell with Arizona Homes and Land Group. Ask me, Group Leader about Metro Homes or Ranches and Large Acreage properties throughout the state.

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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC
This is such a wonderful story! I am so glad that your mother kept your comic books -
Dec 27, 2023 06:19 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Me as well Lise.  The little box the small comic books reside in is now worn out. Jeff

Dec 27, 2023 09:21 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp
SLS Home Inspections-Kankakee Will Iroquois Grundy Counties - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Cool story Jeff, Charles Schulz should have been proud of your skills. We just located 2 slide carousel reels in my dad's home and I had the pictures digitized and copies made for all my brothers and sisters. There were 195 pictures from 1958 when I was one until 1980 when my parents divorced. We watched them all on the computer at Thanksgiving. It was an amazing gift for my 7 siblings. So great we found them. 

Dec 27, 2023 06:41 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Wow Scott. Bringing out the old carousel must have been a blast for the family. Those slides were always more difficult to view and an effort to show than those stuck in an old photo album. Must have been a great night. Jeff

Dec 27, 2023 09:23 PM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

I love this.  My mom and my wife both kept things that have been handed down to our kids and grandkids.  At the time I wondered why in world she would want to keep these items, but now, I am grateful they did!

Happy New Year!

Dec 27, 2023 07:23 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Moms are great about that aren't they Jim. They knew what was important. Jeff

Dec 27, 2023 09:24 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

You gave much more than store bought items are worth, you made and handed over lasting memories that affect the heart region, Jeff. Enjoyed this sweet story of giving, thank you for sharing with us!

Dec 27, 2023 07:27 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Thank you Wanda. Lasting memories are difficult to obtain in this fast paced world. Memories in a worn out little box on the bookshelf of years gone by. Jeff

Dec 27, 2023 09:25 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI - Thank you for sharing such a wonderful Christmas Treasure! First of all, I am impressed by how well you drew and created your own unique comic drawings and books. What your mother did and returned back to you was extra special, thoughtful, and kind. A mother's love never ends. 

Yours was one of the best Christmas stories I read this season. I loved your story from beginning to end. I am wishing you a Merry Christmas because I believe the Christmas message should stay with us every single day of our lives. Happy New Year to you too! I hope your grandson learns many lessons from his grandfather and great grandmother too. 

Dec 27, 2023 07:41 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Thank you Patricia for your kind comments. Yes, at Christmas the Light was ready to break upon the world. The dark cannot overcome the light. May God's blessings be with you and your family this coming year. Jeff

Dec 27, 2023 09:31 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Jeff, you're bringing back some memories (I think I might still have 1 or 2 of my green plastic Army soldiers).  Some time my mom gave me a box of my childhood things (how did I ever fit in that Cub Scout shirt??).  And my brother and I were similar to you, we liked to earn our own money.  Rake leaves, mow lawns, ride our bikes looking for refundable glass bottles in the ditches, whatever we could do to have some spending cash :)

Dec 27, 2023 08:17 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Hi Liz and Bill Spear thanks for your memories. I also was on the eternal hunt for 2 cent return soda models. Back in the day the 2 cents (CASH) would equal 2 Bazooka Joe bubble gums (1 cent each) with a little comic in the wrapper as a bonus. Score! Jeff 😀

Dec 27, 2023 10:20 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

What a treasure!  As a mother, I can imagine how precious that comic book was to her.  We mothers tend to hold onto those handmade gifts.  Very creative on your part.  Yuo're very lucky to have had such a wonderful mother.   Happy Holidays Jeff! 

Dec 27, 2023 08:24 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Thank you Jan. Mothers are a blessing to the children and to each other. A trip down memory lane is good for the soul once in a while. I was lucky 😀 Jeff

Dec 27, 2023 09:33 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services


Hello Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI 

OMG - what a gift your mom gave back to you. That story will live on in the hearts of many forever.  

Thank you for participating in the December Kindness Challenge. 


Dec 27, 2023 09:47 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Thank you Kathleen. What a wonderful topic for the December challenge and so fitting. May God's blessings be with you and your family and your own memories. Jeff

Dec 27, 2023 09:34 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Jeff, for sharing this story and your special memories.

Happy Holidays!

Dec 27, 2023 11:03 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Merry Christmas season to you as well Roy. Thanks for stopping by and being a part of the story. Jeff

Dec 27, 2023 09:35 PM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Jeff,

Very touching! Indeed, the best gifts often did not cost more than deep empathy and some paper and pencil or equivalent. Mom's are always thrilled to know that they have good kids on their hands who are developing their creativity & imagination.

Dec 27, 2023 11:28 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Yes, you are right Dorte Engel gifts from the heart and sharing the creativity and imagination as you say is usually the gift that is the MOST appreciated. Jeff

Dec 28, 2023 04:22 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI - What a heartwarming story, and how incredible that your mother kept all those comic books you can share with your family.  This time of year, we have lots of memories of our loved ones who are no longer with us and stories like yours bring a smile to our face. 

Dec 27, 2023 04:20 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Yes Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, the Christmases past as in the Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" are often the ones we most cherish. This little box has those memories of loved ones inside.

Dec 28, 2023 04:25 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI 

I know that "your" comic books meant a lot to your mom. Great job being creative!

Dec 27, 2023 05:08 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Maybe I was more creative as a child Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400. It was a good time to be a kid. Today the comic book may have been sent by email with computer generated drawings. Mine were not very good and I tried to copy Charles Schulz the best I could but pencil on paper did last all these years in that little box.

Dec 28, 2023 04:27 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


What a special gift of kindness that must have brought many years of joy to your Mom. What a wonderful memory to have!


Dec 27, 2023 07:36 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Thank you Jeff Dowler, CRS it is an old memory BUT a goldie! Jeff 😀

Dec 28, 2023 04:29 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Hi Jeff,

I love the comic books you made for your mom and so glad she gave them to you so you have them now since she is gone. What a treasure....You were a blessing to her and can only begin to feel how she must have felt when she opened them up! Her heart had to be bursting!

Dec 27, 2023 08:21 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Thank you Dorie Dillard Austin TX. I recall she was opening them with other presents, but I remember later on in the evening or the next day going over each page with her in case additional comment was needed on my family and kid adventures. Jeff

Dec 28, 2023 04:31 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I handed a bottle of water to homeless standing on the street.  No money on hand.

Dec 28, 2023 07:15 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Jesus asked the woman at the well for a cup of water Sam Shueh. A gift is a gift from the heart is the best. May God's blessings be with you. Jeff

Dec 28, 2023 04:34 PM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI  those are the kinds of gifts that I love the most. The time, effort and imagination that it takes to create these gifts are admirable and heartfelt.  More often than not, the giver has no earthly idea how much their gift will have a long lasting affect on the recipient.  Thank you for sharing.

Dec 28, 2023 04:12 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Hi Charita Cadenhead I have a feeling that you have loved ones and you have experience in receiving and giving those kinds of creative gifts from the heart with love. May God's blessings go with you this coming year. Jeff

Dec 28, 2023 04:36 PM
Charita Cadenhead

I absolutely have first hand experience. 

Dec 28, 2023 04:59 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

 So many of us have first-hand experience that has brought us here today and I’m very grateful for everything. :

Dec 28, 2023 09:49 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

The first hand experience of LOVE is a wonderful thing Laura Cerrano and showing it giving and receiving are blessings. Jeff

Dec 29, 2023 04:47 PM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Jeff Masich, your story of creating comic books as gifts beautifully highlights the joy of giving, showcasing that the best gifts often come from the heart, not the wallet. Your creative approach and cherished memories remind us that in real estate and life, it's the personal touch that truly makes a difference. #GiftOfCreativity #PersonalTouchesMatter 📚💡

Jan 11, 2024 03:55 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Thank you Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC and I know that you give gives from the heart. It is true those are the BEST gifts. Jeff

Jan 13, 2024 01:26 PM
Ivanna Styles
GiftLips - Adams, IL
GiftLips has been making over 1 million people fro

Giving gifts comes from the heart, not the wallet. Make thoughtful, meaningful gifts on a budget. Homemade treats, heartfelt notes, or video greeting cards show loved ones you care.

Jan 30, 2024 12:16 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

You hit the nail right on the head Ivanna. Jeff 😀

Jan 30, 2024 08:41 PM