It’s only twelve days until Christmas, and people everywhere are rushing around to buy gifts for each other.
I’ve been to one party where the “rule” was for everyone to buy each other a $20.00 gift card.
I know some families who start groups on FB just to list what they want for gifts.
One of my colleagues said her mother texted a due date for gift requests before her shopping day and she got a another text warning her that if she missed the deadline, she’d only get socks and underwear.
I have to say, I never quite got the concept of buying gifts when they seem to be a mandatory exchange. If I have to buy for you and you have to buy for me, why don’t we just agree to skip the whole business and just stay at home with a good movie instead of getting mauled at the mall?
After all, why do we give gifts, anyway? Isn’t it as a token of affection? Isn’t it as a symbolic gesture during Christmas to replicate the giving of the gifts from the Magi?
Don’t get me wrong- I love the season with the yummy foods, beautiful lights, and cozy smells. But I am suggesting that we re-examine the spirit in which gifts are supposed to be given and if you still feel the pressure to get something for those near and dear to you (if you haven’t already), consider a gift that goes far beyond some pretty wrap, bow, or bag.
Or even if you have purchased the requisite present, imagine if came along with the 153Promise of giving them daily affection with the goal of supporting a functional, loving relationship.
Some possible ways to do this are:
-Buy some books on parenting, relationships or self-help books about issues you are currently working on and sharing that purchase with your loved one
-Take your family shopping together for games (that you play at a table- NOT a computer) you can play as a family
-Have a family meeting to decide on a few day trips like the zoo, a museum, or some other experiential activity
There are many other possibilities… one great way is to ask them what they’d like to do, rather than what they want.
So as you watch everybody else run around for last minute shopping for things that most likely will end up in the back of the closet in a few weeks, why not make the decision to put a stop to that materialistic pressure and put your energy into truly making the spirit bright… by showing your affection through deeds and time and making an effort on a daily basis to show them just how much you love them.
That’s a gift everyone will be able to enjoy all year long.