Monday, December 07, 2009

Why I like giving gifts for Christmas

I know I'm deviating from the Expected Christmas Routine by writing this. Denouncing the commercialism of Christmas is supposed to be a Christmas tradition, right up there with drinking eggnog, hanging tinsel, and singing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." So it's true confession time: I like giving gifts for Christmas. I have a personal rule: no gift cards for the people on my gift list. I like spending some time pondering each person in my family, turning over all the different things they like to do, maybe even learning something new about them. I like to hunt for a gift that will fit with their interests but still be a surprise. It starts at Thanksgiving with some sleuthing. For each person, "What have you been up to? Any big plans?" And something will make their eyes light up with enthusiasm. And I start scheming how I can give a gift that will become a part of that, a part of what makes this life good for them. And I do it in the name of Jesus. I hope even the non-Christian relatives have some happy memories of Christmas.

Are the merchants taking advantage? Oh, no doubt. But I have a bigger problem with the low quality and predictable nature of the merchandise than with the fact that they're trying to make a sale. It doesn't have to be a decadent spending frenzy; nobody is making me spend any particular amount. And the gifts don't have to upstage the reason for the celebration. I'm glad for a license to reconnect with the people in my family.

So I like giving gifts for Christmas. I expect I'm not alone.


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I'm grateful that while growing up, I got the feeling that when my relatives gave me a gift, though simple and inexpensive, it was meant especially for me. My husband and I have developed simple gift giving expectations toward each other. It has been a bit harder with the kids, but we've tried to continue that. My husband grew up with higher $$ gift giving goals within the family, but now he doesn't like the whole materialistic thing. He usually tries to give to charities instead of giving gifts.

Weekend Fisher said...

We have some ... variety ... of giving expectations from different branches of the family. In our house, we usually keep it pretty simple.

I just really like thinking and pondering and picking out what to give someone.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF