Several weeks ago, I sat quietly pondering plans for the Christmas holiday.

I was startled when the rasping sound of a shovel scraped along my walkway. I looked out the window and saw a man wearing a red-hooded jacket raking, not snow, but dirt. There was no snow, so I assumed he was on his way some place else.

A few weeks later, I heard the same noise and there was the same man, this time he was doing a good job on our first real snowstorm this year.

I opened the door and invited him in. Turned out he was not working but, he said, “getting some exercise.” He was not a bit interested in quoting a price for his labors, but, looking for something to keep him “fit.”

I will seek to find a way to thank this kind man for his exercise, but in the meantime my Christmas thoughts are still working.

I believe quite literally that Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes, and many do not have to be wrapped.

A man gave a single, old lady an important Christmas gift, one that was needed if she was to walk out her door. No payment for him, except the feeling we all get when we offer help, the favor costs nothing and, as he hoped, provided exercise.

From where I sit today looking out on my well-cleared walkway and driveway, I realize this man gave me a wonderful Christmas gift that makes the snowy day brighter.

To me he is a very special Christmas guru.

Katy Perry, Hallowell