By now, I’m thinking you’re all pretty well sick of hearing about all my signing experiences. And though I’m excited and relieved about the results, I’m kind of getting sick of talking about it. So, I’m going to take a break from that today.
If you’re absolutely dying to hear all the details, email me. I’ll tell you everything I remember. Be warned that my brain has been on absolute overload this month, but it’s December and, well, all things considered, that’s to be expected.
Anyway, sometime around Halloween, my parents—consisting of my mom and stepdad, and my dad and stepmom—decided that this year would be a good one to refocus our attention on the true spirit of Christmas. The economic downfall has been very hard on some of them, and none of us wanted anyone to feel the burden of buying gifts they couldn’t afford.
Unfortunately, it appears we were the only ones. Now, granted, as far as I know, none of my siblings have gone all out and spent lots of money on parent gifts, but everyone bought something. Which, I think, defeats the purpose of the original plan. Not that I don’t have an urge to buy gifts for my parents as well, but I really, truly hoped that for the first time in years, Christmas would stop being so much about the presents we give and receive, and more about relationships. Sadly, even our parents have succumbed. Other than a family get-together last week, there has been little or no relationship building time. And when we go to my mom’s house for Christmas dinner, once again, gifts will be exchanged all around.
Whatever happened to presents not mattering? What happened to family time? I’m not complaining, really. I enjoy giving gifts to people I love, people who matter. And even though I didn’t add extra gifts into my budget, and wasn’t able to plan far in advance for a thoughtful gift, I’ll find something inexpensive, yet nice for both sets of parents. And I’m okay with that.
But I’m saddened exponentially by the loss of a valuable lesson for us all. Christmas isn’t about the presents, what we give, get, pay for, make, buy, order and wrap. It’s about a gift given us over 2000 years ago, the birth of our Savior. Remember that Guy?
Everything else is irrelevant. And the best thing we can do to honor that sacrifice is to give of ourselves (not our wallets) to spend time with those we love, and those who need us, and to remember why this holiday even exists. More family time, fewer presents.
Don’t you think? The worst thing we could possibly do is turn Christmas into just another day, and yet, that’s where it’s headed. What it’s becoming more and more as the years pass. I don’t have all the answers, but it seems to me like trying something new, something different, might help us remember why we celebrate in the first place. Not because I don’t want to give gifts to people. I absolutely do. I guess I’m just at a point where I feel it’s more important to teach our children about the important things in life—the things which have nothing to do with presents.
And so, four days before Christmas, I find myself in a great internal tug-of-war. Do I buy gifts for my parents—as all my siblings have, and as my parents have given into—or do I stand my ground, stick with our original plan and look like the Grinch? Not that it matters if people see me in a poor light, just…well, you all know. It’s not easy being green. And I’ve never liked the idea of living in a cave. How best am I to honor the original request, while still going with the family flow?
What would you do?