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.