Giving the gift of time

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You can’t wrap time in a box, but it is more precious than diamonds, silver or gold. The Maids offers the perfect gift for the person who does it all.

By Bill Yurgen

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” —Bil Keane, creator of The Family Circus 


Innumerable words have been put to ink over the years to define that most elusive of all the objects of desire—the perfect holiday gift. Unfortunately, the reality of the big moment of giving almost always presents itself as anti-climactic. Oh how we humans mismanage our own expectations.

There are, however, rare occasions when that perfect gift that says “you are loved” is rewarded with a tear by the recipient that reflects the giver’s thoughtfulness followed by a smile that silently speaks the words, “you did well.” 

In my life, and I would suggest in other’s lives as well, those memorable gifts never involve “stuff” that will eventually be discarded. The truly remarkable gifts always seem to involve our love for each other—the marine who gets an early leave and comes home for a brief holiday moment to the child and spouse longing for his or her return. 

Or it might be the woman who says “yes,” giving the greater gift than the man presenting her with a ring. And, then again, it might be something so simple as a puppy destined to accompany a boy into manhood.

But there are gifts that, while slightly more mundane, still reflect the giver’s love and acknowledge just how special the recipient is in his or her eyes. One such gift that is readily available, and most likely to be sincerely appreciated, is a rarity in and of itself—the gift of time. 

How best to give time as a gift? Replace the time spent on drudgery with free time that a special someone can spend any way he or she wants, even if it’s just a lazy, but much deserved, afternoon off. 

I confess my inspiration for this story was my recent conversation with Mike Manhoff, owner of The Maids of Northeast Ohio. Mike has built a career out of providing his clients with additional time that would have been otherwise spent house cleaning. 


By way of constant customer feedback over his 18 years in the business, Mike has become expert in understanding his customers and what attracts them to his service. 

“Within the vast majority of households who use our service, the responsibility for house cleaning falls on the woman in the family,” Mike said.

“Many things have changed over the years, but it’s still the woman of the house, tasked with working and chauffeuring the kids to taking care of senior parents and so much more, who still does the majority of cleaning chores herself. More often than not, it’s not from a lack of some help from the rest of the family, but an insistence that things aren’t cleaned as well as when she cleans them.”

“We get the call for help when these ladies are at the tipping point; when there is no more time in their busy schedules and their houses are beginning to reflect that,” Mike said. 

“That’s where our point of pride comes into play. We offer a cleaning job that’s not only as good as Mom’s, it’s often better because we clean the areas like the back sides of knobs and handles and every inch of a shower that she wants to include in each clean but never has the time to do.”

I commented to Mike that his service would make a very much appreciated gift.

“For the woman who does it all, this is the best gift she could possible get before or after the holidays,” he replied. 

“Every woman will appreciate less time spent cleaning and more precious time for herself. Whether we come weekly or every other week, a gift cleaning or gift certificate from The Maids means that home will be cleaner and healthier, and the recipient’s calendar a little more free. We sell a lot of gift certificates over the holidays.”  

The Maids gift certificates can make the home of someone you love cleaner and healthier while making their calendar a little less hectic. Phone 440-735-6243 or 330-220-0098 to order the gift of time. To learn more, visit TheMaidsNortheastOhio.com.

Categories: Home & Garden