I made a Christmas
list the other day. In fact I made two of them. One was for all the gifts I hoped to receive from Santa, family and friends. The other was the list of obligations I had to others. There are a lot of things on one list and a lot of names I have to buy for on the other.
Looking at the lists made me a bit sad Ė has my Christmas been reduced to meeting obligations and blindly buying gifts, often gift cards, to be sure nobody feels slighted in the least over the holidays? It didnít sit well with me. So Iím going to fight back and reclaim the true spirit of the holidays.
Shred My Wish List
I think itís perfectly fine to want things, but the true fun of Christmas
is getting presents that you feel suit the person youíre buying for. If I buy a friend a present, I want it to be something I picked out especially for her Ė something that I know sheíll love because I know her so well. Iíve realized I want the same thing in return. A gift card is great Ė everyone loves to shop, but itís not the real spirit of giving. Shopping for hours to find the perfect little something you know sheíll love is Ė at least according to me.
So in the spirit of true gift giving, Iím going to allow others this joy and shred my wish list. When people ask what I want for Christmas, Iím not going to tell them. I think this is a critical element that has disappeared from the season, and Iím going to bring it back at least for those around me. In return, I promise to not buy a single gift card. Every present will be carefully planned or selected.
Some of the best presents Iíve ever received have been hand-made or the equivalent. A playlist with a meaningful description of songs that have awesome memories, a photo story set to a favorite song with all the best memories of a year or a trip, the matching blankets a friend made for all of us one year. Those presents have a deeper meaning.
When I think about it, I realize now what my mom always meant when she told me she loved that crooked magnet I made her more than anything else I might have bought for her. Granted, not just any handmade gift will do Ė it should be something meaningful and unique. And I, in turn, hope to create the same thing for some of my closest friends, and my mom, of course.
Give and Give Some More
This is a painful Christmas for a lot of families, and while Iím worrying about whether my parents are going to get me a new Wii, they are worried about paying bills and getting their children anything at all. If there was ever a time to focus on the task at hand and take care of business, this is it. I plan on donating as much money as I can, but since there is only so much of that in my purse, I hope to find plenty of things I donít use that are in great condition to donate to the various programs that help families in need Ė especially warm clothing and jackets.