Christmas From theHeart ( A Hubnuggets Winner )

It is not that I am a scrooge or dislike giving gifts but the commercialization of Christmas turns me off. There is something about any gift giving holiday that angers me. A gift should represent that one has been thinking about you, wants to celebrate something with you, or just to show a token of one's affection.

The last thing modern society needs is to be told that because a specific date is approaching, we are obligated to present others with a gift. Obligations are not gifts, they are weights upon our joys and celebrations. It seems that I have felt this way since my early teens, when a bit of baby sitting money just would not buy anything that was worthy of giving or of having. Working as a retail store manager through years of Valentines, Easters, Mothers and Fathers Days, Halloweens, and Christmases have really driven that point home to me.

My husband and I have never exchanged Christmas gifts, not a single year. This was my idea, I rationalized that we treat ourselves throughout the year, and pointed out the sense of obligation, I made the suggestion that we concentrate on the children, they came early in our married life. As they grew, we as a family agreed, that the kids would exchange gifts with each other and we, the parents would buy a big ticket family gift. We bought a TV one year, a computer one year, added a bathroom one year ( three high school girls, it was needed). A time or two, we put off the purchase of a gift and took the family to the Grand Canyon, to the beach. We feel like we have built memories rather than bombard them with wrong sized, wrong colored clothing, or music that is not to their liking.

Each of our kids are grown and gone, I have, I think, come up with a unique and meaningful gift for each of them. It is one that fits my criteria for a good gift. It will be worthy of giving and of having. It is personal and it represents my affection. And it is a reflection of an ongoing celebration.

Like moms everywhere, I have a massive collection of trinkets, memorabilia, photos, school award certificates that chronicle the lives of my daughters. They are in boxes tucked under the bed, stashed in the closet, in a variety of disheveled albums. Since my husband and I downsized to a much smaller home, these treasures are packed away and hidden almost forgotten.

This week I will be sorting and purging the contents of these albums and boxes. All contents will go into one of three piles, one for each daughter. Each daughter will receive a scrapbook, that has been covered and decorated for her taste. Inside the book, I will place all the infant memorabilia that announces her birth, her photos, her report cards, her scholastic awards. This will be done in a chronological order. Some pages will have personal notes on how I felt on the occasion: why she made this outing fun, how proud I was when she won this award, why I pulled this essay from the trash and treasure it........just "mama" things.

Some of the larger items will be set in a display case or framed to compliment her current decor. Some may have to go into a gift bag or basket.

It is time to do this, for her and for me. It is time to bring forgotten things out again. She should be reminded of her girlhood, and she should see how far she has come. It is time that she realizes how I have treasured her through all of her years. It is time for her to carry her own torch, and to be reminded of where the flame comes from.

She will not find this in any store.

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Comments 37 comments

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coffeesnob 6 years ago

I like this. It is trulu giving from the heart. I love christmas and try not to get carried away in all the hub bub. I like to do things that have special memories for kids and grandkids. They look forward to those traditions - like the ornament exchange we do as we read the Christmas story...i think they like this more than the gifts

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

Ty Coffesnob......

It has been a bit more of an emotional challenge than I expected. There are moments when I would trade all of my tomorrows just to have my kids be little girls under my wing again.....

eculligan profile image

eculligan 6 years ago

I agree that Christmas should be about giving and not feeling the obligation and pressure from it all. People are much more happy with a gift that comes strait from the heart. Nice Hub!

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

Thanks.....I really appreciate your reading, (have any good questions going on tonight)

you know how people approach you in public and ask if you want to make a donation? That just rubs me the wrong way, I do manage to remain courteous, but I always feel the need to explain to them, the difference between a "contribution", a "donation" and a "solictation".

Then either I contribute or I don't.

sherrylou57 profile image

sherrylou57 6 years ago from Riverside

Thank you for this hub, I did this for my children and going to do this for my grandchildren.

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

It is I, who thanks you, Sherrylou 57..

Good is see a new reader for my hub!

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

A true gift from the heart - wonderful idea. Our family always adoped a needy family for Christmas. It's wonderful to give your child a gift of memories the way you have.

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

Hi There KoffeeKlatch Gals,

Adopting a family is a very generous idea also.

When my girls were teenagers, they came to me with that marked a new level of maturity in them, for me.

Thanks for dropping in!

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

This is a wonderful way of giving from the heart. This different perspective enriches our hearts and lives. Thank you for sharing.

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! See the Holidays and Celebrations category right here Read and and vote..and enjoy the beauty of gift giving and the Hubnuggets!

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

Thank you , on both counts, Ripplemaker.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

This is a really great idea for a unique gift for your children. I can understand how going through your keepsakes could be an emotional time. All those special memories! Someday I will brace myself to sort through thousands of photographs to make albums for my children and grandchildren.

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

Hello Stephanie Henkel,

Thank you for taking the time to read my hub and give me your thoughts.

It has been bittersweet.........but, it is time.

Hopefully, they will be touched by all the little things we keep as mothers. Surely, they will see things they have not thought of since early childhood. :)

libby101a profile image

libby101a 6 years ago from KY

A beautiful idea! I have been racking my brain trying to come up with ideas of what to get my kids for Christmas. I have one one that is in college, one in high school and one that is only six... I will do this when they get a little bit older...but I love the idea! Thank you for sharing!

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

You are so welcome, Libby101a

Thank you for coming by and reading. I do appreciate it.

you will know when it is time......

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

This is not just a "mama thing". It really pours with great ideas coming from you that Christmas is not all about gifts; it's about family, colorful memories to top it all.

And please don't forget the reason why we celebrate it. Congratulations!

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author


You caught me being sexist! Ooops.....

Being a Christian, I am always aware of the reason for the celebration....that adds to my distaste of the commercialism surrounding Christmas.

I am glad that you came and read. Thanks for your input.

Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 6 years ago from USA

Your idea of Christmas is true, we all have choices. The important choice is the ones that is good for the family. Congrats on your Hubnugget nomintation.

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author


I thank you first for reading the hub, and most for your kind words.

"Homemade" gifts are not cheap of heart and meaning. I am SO glad that modern society is embracing the concept.

Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 6 years ago

I think this is the best gift you can give to your daughters. I presume they will either busy chatting with joys or read it with tears. And it will be treasured forever.

Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

I think you have found the best gifts of Christmas and that is the memories that we make with our friends and family without the pressures of having to purchase a monetary gift. Thanks for sharing.

Welcome to Hubpages, and congrats on being selected to this week's HubNugget's Wannabe contest. Good luck to you!.

fetty profile image

fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

Beautiful ideas and I especially agree with the reasoning behind NOT giving Christmas gifts just because of the pressure from the mass media. My birthday is Christmas Eve have a lot of mixed feelings about holiday gift giving. My husband and I never dine out, (everyone is drunk or exhausted) I prefer to visit a church that celebrates with a choir. We have started to visit new churches besides our own. This really is precious to me and makes my day and or night. Have a wonderful Christmas. Your hub has surely shown the true meaning of this day. Congratulations on your well deserved nomination,too.

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author


Thanks on many points.....

I am glad you enjoyed the hub and it touched you in some way.

Like you, I find many of the holidays to be dangerous on the highways.....what have we done to ourselves?

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

Money Glitch,

Thanks you for your warm welcome!

I appreciate you comeing by and reading.

I like to see new readers, and I do try to swing by

and visit those who check my work out.

see you soon......

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author


Thank your for your support!

Knowing my girls, they will laugh together.

It will almost be like having them little again......

Thanks so much for coming by.

Salvator profile image

Salvator 6 years ago from East Sussex, England

My family also took the view that Christmas should be for the children, and now the grandchildren. We too decided that the most important gift we have is love and we share it every day in everything we do. As a Humanist looking in at Christianity, a faith I was brought up in despite my Jewish origins, I wonder why it was that Christmas became the great event whereas if the faith is to be trusted, surely Easter should have primacy? I recognise that those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, whether Europeans or Americans, need something to break the winter blues. So the pagan feast was used as a fixed point. All this I accept, and enjoy. But the sheer commercialisation frightens me. Now that I have my own business, a consultancy which involves visiting schools and Care homes, I see the real meaning of Christmas again. The faith and spirituality in small children and elderly adults which ignores the commerciality and embraces the important aspects. So if you feel that something is missing in your life, in your Christmas, why not stand back and see how the very young and the very old accept its real values. I am sure you too will then have real warmth for your fellow man/womankind and something to treasure forever.

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author


Thank you for your warm remarks.

Your term, " inside the faith " is musical, and among Christians, Easter is quite important. But it does not have the commercial influence and pressure of giving gifts.

Like you, I do have an appreciation for the elderly, and the wonder in a child's face is amazing.

Thanks for reading, and sharing your thoughts. They are appreciated. Welcome to HubPages.....

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

Congratulations for winning the Hubnagguet with such a well deserved hub. Chhristmas IS a celebration of the heart and we should all remember that

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

Thank you very much, Petra Vlah,

That is a kind post, and gracious of you to extend it to me. It does mean something to me for you to do so.

Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 6 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

I agree with you re gifts. I do think it is a magical time for small children to receive gifts and it's wonderful to watch them opening their Christmas presents, but now that my son is 13, it is going to be the one big family treat or item. My son will receive a gift (or two), if he's lucky!

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author

Les Trois Chenes,

Thanks for coming by and mostly for

your comments.

You will see that your son has a

good Christmas---it is what we do!

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Christmas IS over-commercialized and I heartily agree that it should NOT be a forced gift-giving occasion.

That said, why do so many parents and grandparents agree not to give gifts to each other, yet perpetuate the commercialization "for the children"? To me, this is just plain hypocritical. At some point, every child finds out there is no Santa Claus and is resentful that he/she has been lied to for years, rather than learning from Day One that Christmas is an important religious holiday originally intended to celebrate the birth of a man called Jesus. Families gathering at Christmas to feast and make merry is equally important, but NOT as a occasion for mandatory gift-giving, because being together should be the "gift".

I struggled with the Santa Myth for years until Christmas happened to be on a Sunday and my children balked at having to stop playing with the new toys "Santa" had put under the tree to...yuk...go to church. We went anyway, and then I was appalled at the number of people around us who kept looking at their watches as the minster gave an unusually (for him) stirring sermon on the meaning of Christmas. Apparently the clock-watchers weren't buying "Jesus is the reason for the season" either, but that day was the end of the Santa Myth at our house.

My children are all grown now and scattered to the four winds, so gathering on or near Dec. 25th is no longer possible. What each remembers most about those early Christmases, however, is NOT the gifts, but the closeness we felt on Christmas Eve when we'd sit down to a special dinner lit only by candles and the lights on the tree. That was the "magical time" for them, and therefore we don't kill ourselves buying and sending gifts to one another to arrive by "the day".

Our gift-giving tradition now is 'you get it when you get it'...meaning a package containing gifts wrapped in Christmas paper might arrive as late as April or June. Which is actually more fun (and meaningful) than getting the same package in December amid the other Christmas hubbub. It also means we aren't racing around in December paying inflated prices for things we know will be half the price in January.

Great hub, ogw!

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author


How glad I am that you found your way to my hub!!

Thanks for your comments.

Presenting the gift in Christmas paper throughout the year is a WONDERFUL idea. Do you mind if I borrow it?

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Borrow away! ;D

Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 6 years ago from Michigan

Onegoodwoman, you have such wonderful ideas. You teach us to value life and the precious memories they bring. Your girls are blessed to have you as a mom. Congrats on this awesome hub!

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author


You give me far too much credit!

The Blessing is to have been their Mom.

Thank you for the lovely words.....

And taking the time to visit me here.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Well I guess this was a winner! And from an expert, too! :)

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town Author


An 'expert'........not at all.

The term itself, brought a chuckle.

Even I was amazed at the stuff

saved through the years.

Thank you very much for your

generous commentary, and for

your support.

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