It's that time again... Christmas shopping.
The holidays are swiftly approaching, department stores are full of Christmas decor, Christmas music playing, movies are on, & my shopping is in full force.
Soon I'll be binge watching every holiday movie on ABC family, the tunes have been playing in my car for a while, & soon I will be driving the longest route
to any destination just to see the beautifully lit homes. TODAY (would have been sooner if I had time), my tree will be up & soon will be loads of beautifully
wrapped packackages placed beneath and hand selected by- yours truly. :)
I know Christmas gets a lot of hostility thrown its way. We complain over the consumerisn, we complain about how insatiable our culture is. My friends brag about
how they have convinced their family to enter a pool & give one gift (of $25 value), or giftcard, or not at all, or that they are all grown and theres no need
for gift giving. - J & I will fuss about how many people we will have to buy for or how much money we are spending every Christmas on gifts that may not be
Honestly, I wouldn't change one single thing! I LOVE gift giving.
I would haul every single present with my name on it over to Goodwill, right now. I don’t anticipate the joyous present celebration of Christmas morning because of
what I hope to receive. I will say, “I don’t need anything,” and mean it. However, I WILL eagerly await the moment when a gift I have searched high & low for is grasped
by receiver. I want time to stand still while I watch them tear into the package. I wait anxiously for the gleam of recognition in their eyes. I live for the joy
that spreads across their faces once they realize what that precious package contains. In that moment, I know they feel the love that accompanies that gift. I know it
makes them happy. And even if that happiness lasts for that 1 millisecond while the rest of year the candle goes unburned, tie is never worn, or brand new cookbook goes
unused, it is worth it.
I love gift-giving because I am in search of “that moment.”
How many of you cannot recall the gifts you gave last Christmas? How about the gifts you received?
It’s not because we’re forgetfull that we have trouble remembering the gifts we gave or even the ones we received. It’s because when it’s all over, the gifts pale in comparison
to the joy they deliver—the love and best wishes for the season. That’s what we carry with us from one year to the next. Gifts are messengers. They deliver our love and our best wishes.
Without the care, love, or concern—the gift is empty. Giving a gift just so you can mark a name off a list is a hollow effort that is likely to fall flat no matter how much money you spend.
Not every occasion requires a gift. Sometimes a card that you buy or make yourself in which you write a really thoughtful sentiment is an excellent way to go.
Caring enough to pick out the right card and then taking the time and effort to write in it sometimes says, “I care!” even better than a gift could. I KNOW it has changed my whole day
for the better recently.
As I think about the plethora of gifts that will be, once again, spilling out in to my living room this Christmas Eve I can’t help but trip back through time.
I remember gifts given to me that were remarkable, gifts that are etched in my mind. The ones that stand out do so for “that moment,” not because of what I received.
I know I have received a lot of huge, expensive gifts over the years. And, quite honestly, when that has happened it has usually involved a conversation beforehand and
questions ensuring all the details were correct. They usually are wonderful but they don’t carry the elements of tenderness, heart, feeling, and emotion.
The gifts that stand out to me were small in size yet huge in heart…
...like when I was kiddo & several sweet friends knew my love for christmas & always gave me an ornament- not just "any ornament" but one that would carry a precious memory
for the rest of my life. There's always a special story with each one.
...like when my nephew gives me green tights because he wanted my to share his love for Ninja Turtles. The precious look on his face and twinkle in his eyes when he gives me
something that "he picked out JUST FOR ME".
...like when I've had a rough year & live away from home for the first time in PCB & my mom comes to stay with me. She walks in with bags full (clothes that were desperately needed)
and we played dress-up & tried each thing on while catching up.
...like when a sweet client of mine (kiddo) brings ME a Christmas gift to their mini session. It was an adorable necklace with a caption about photogging and a charm. Made my heart smile.
...like when my FAVORITE Christmas movie stops working & your childhood buddy brings you a replacement because they know you will need it playing.
...like when my friend sent my favorite yummy dip home with me one day just because she loves me.
...or even as small as J bringing home a flashlight for my car because I didn't have one & when he takes my car to get gas for me so I won't have to pump it.
It's the little things.
& technically this isn't a gift but - when granny would fulfill my wishes of Christmas shopping for the family when I was a child and unable to do so myself. Nothing gave me greater joy
than searching for something that they would love & thinking about the excitement. I continue this by taking Landon (my nephew) & will do so with my children.
I LOVE IT.
These gifts stand out because of the heart with which they were given. They touched me – they still do.
So family/friends, when I try hard not to get you a gift card, when I fuss about having tons of work to catch up on- yet have to run to Target 3 times in one week, please just hug me.
I know why I do it. I do it because I want “that moment.”
I know it is rare to unearth a gift so special that 10 years later someone will still be talking about it. I know that those gifting moments which resonate in memories are hard to create.
But I am not going to stop trying.
In a few weeks, when we all take time to gather ’round the tree, and lovingly open the gifts tenderly selected and purchased for each other, I will be happy.
Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.
***one of my favorite articles- GREAT READ! http://theradicallife.org/are-you-lying-to-your-children-about-santa