Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gift Giving

Tis the season again. I love most parts of Christmas- the music, the lights, the spirit, the celebration of my Savior's birth. But then we come to the part that's all about giving gifts and I feel like Scrooge sometimes, which makes me feel guilty.

Don't get me wrong- I LOVE giving gifts. I enjoy making special things for people I love, taking cookies and treats to friends and neighbors, buying things I think will make someone smile. But I hate shopping for gifts for relatives I don't know well enough to be able to pick out something "special." I hate feeling obligated to buy something for someone who already has everything they need and almost everything they've always wanted too. How do you shop for people who buy themselves everything throughout the year?

To top it off, hardly anyone even thanks you for gifts nowadays. Am I the only one that's bothered by this? I mean, how hard can it be to write a simple "thank you" note?? Heck, I'd be content to just get an email or a message on facebook! Half the time I don't know if the person even got the gift because there is literally no acknowledgment. I'm sad to admit that I have stopped sending gifts/money to relatives who don't show any appreciation for them. Mostly I would have stopped sending after a certain age anyways, but after so many years of figuring that our gifts didn't matter enough to them to even provoke a response- I quit sending. It makes me feel like Scrooge sometimes, but I just don't see the point any more. Am I just being selfish? I don't know. But I want to use my time and resources to do things to make people smile or to help someone in need. I don't want to waste them on people who seemingly don't care.

Would it be different if I was rolling in dough? Maybe. But it's not like we have unlimited funds. We struggle to keep up with our own obligations and try hard to live free of debt. This often means that we go without. We don't get all the new toys and gadgets, furniture and cars that a lot of people have, and we're okay with that. (Well, David and I are... Aimee isn't always so understanding!! lol) So when we go shopping for gifts we want to make sure we're using our resources wisely and are getting those things that will let someone know we're thinking of them, that we wish we could be with them, and that we love them. When it comes right down to it, there's no gift in any store that can really do that, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Relatives often don't believe us when we say we don't want anything for Christmas. Literally though, if you want to make me smile- donate to or a local food pantry! The few material things we do want/need are not ones we would ask someone else to take the responsibility of buying for us. At most, I'd love to get some little homemade trinket or a recent photo.

My wish list is very simple. I don't want knick-knacks, gadgets, dvd's, or even money. What I want is to be able to spend time with the people I love. I want to have a happy day playing games, watching a Christmas movie, talking, laughing, and just enjoying each other. I want to focus on the fact that it is a celebration because Jesus Christ was born. Because of Him I have hope! I have peace, joy, and love in my life because of the miracle of that first Christmas day. I want Christmas to be a second day of thanksgiving- to acknowledge that God has blessed us above and beyond everything we need to sustain life and, more than anything, that He has blessed us with mercy through the gift of His Son.

May your Christmas be filled with the light of Christ's love and the peace that comes from accepting His gift.

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