I know that I drive my husband and mom crazy when they ask me what I want for Christmas and my reply is “nothing… I don’t know… or I’ll try to figure out something.” Honestly, I don’t usually want things. I told my husband that I wanted the bathroom painted. That would be my favorite gift! Yet, he still feels the need to buy me something. So, I’ll have to figure out something to tell him so that he’ll be happy that he paid money for something to give me. Y’all, I truly struggle with this!
Most of us want deeply to give at Christmastime. We want our family, friends, kids’ teachers, Pastors, bus drivers, mailperson, hair stylist (you see where I’m going here… where does it end?) to know how much we love and appreciate them. So, we feel that the only way to do that is to go buy something that they may or may not want. I don’t like this. It hurts me. Yet… I buy, too. Because Heaven forbid that you don’t buy… even worse, what if they buy for you and you have nothing to return?! The horror!
The problem is that we are all in different financial conditions. You may buy because you have excess, but someone else may be buying instead of paying their light bill or just racking up credit card bills that they will never be able to pay.
This year, I have kicked it way back. I (I say “I” because my husband is currently on ship so I’ve been doing all the buying) have bought my boys two gifts. Each got the one big thing that he wanted and then something else that they probably won’t care at all about. HA! The rest of my immediate family got what they asked for… but again, the vicious circle of telling someone something just to make them happy to buy you something. Teachers and bus driver each got nominal restaurant gift cards… hopefully, it’s the thought that counts. As far as my friends… y’all are getting food. Sorry I ruined the surprise. 😉
I asked two of my friends to spend time with me instead of buying junk. So, we are going to a movie together. THIS… this is what Christmas should be. Share yourself with the people you love. Let them share their lives with you. Invite them over. Give them the gift of your time. Your money might be endless, but your time certainly is not. What does time look like? Here are some suggestions:
- Invite people over for dinner
- Go out to eat or a movie
- Rake their yard or do a chore that they can’t do themselves
- HAND write them a letter or card expressing how much you love and/or appreciate them (I’m telling you this would make anyone’s day!)
- Do a project together, go to a class together
- Adopt a truly needy family with a group of friends
This is just a beginning. Get your mind working. Be creative. I’ll bet if you are just straight up with your friends and family, you would find that most of us feel the same way. We love each other… we feel obligated to buy for each other… but we don’t really need more crap (we buy it for ourselves all year-round). So, start a trend (maybe for next year)… step out of the materialistic box and give the people you care about a little (or big) piece of you… your heart. There, you will find the true meaning of Christmas.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6