This is a season of generosity and reciprocation, a season where all of this generosity and reciprocation cause stress on many levels. Does the gift I got for her or him truly tell her how I feel about her or him? Is my giving to the people around me truly an expression of my love, affection, and feelings about them? We have been studying the Advent Conspiracy video series here, and it has really hit me how broken our views of Christmas truly are.
I remember the days of my childhood where the number of gifts and the size of the gifts determined how good Christmas was. Christmas shopping is a hard thing for me, I am not a shopper. The mall is a place where you go because you have to, not because you want to, unless there is some other reason like a playground for the boys. I think it would be wonderful, sometimes, if gift cards truly communicated feelings. The easiest way out would be cause for relief of a great deal of stress here.
This year I am trying to do something drastically different with my Christmas giving, as little of it as I have to do, and to truly put my heart and soul into the gifts. I often go with the things that I am told to buy. My Christmas gifts often lack an outside of the box thinking, and firmly stay within what I know will be liked. I am trying to be outside my usual box, although for a couple of people on my list I may be reverting to the box for at least part of their gifts.
But I am seeing the ideas of Christmas come in unexpected ways, and the excitement of Christmas has come in interesting ways. I am excited for all of the things that I get to experience again, I am also incredibly excited about my son’s Christmas. I think my oldest is going to greatly enjoy all he is getting for Christmas and it will be something that he will play with daily for a long time.
I hope our experience of Christmas will not be limited to giving and receiving gifts this year, because that is how we’ve messed up Christmas so much over the last years. Bigger, Better, and More is our motto, but we don’t realize how bad that is for ourselves and our families. Maybe I did not realize it until I had children, but celebrating in a different way can really make the difference in our lives.