I remember several Christmas' in my childhood where money was tight. I knew it was, but as a child, I would still dream big, but I was always surprised and happy with whatever came. I thought today, since I am rekindling some of my favorite Christmas feelings, there is one of humbleness that I want to share.
It was the Christmas of 1990. I was a senior in highschool . My parents had planned to go out of town to visit some family members. I did not go because I was going to my boyfriend's family Christmas party. Well, it iced up, and even snowed a bit and they were unable to come home in time. So instead of staying at my house alone, I stayed one night at my best friend's house, and then decided to spend the next night at my house alone. I was never really afraid to stay alone, and I took advantage of this time in a way that has helped to change my way of thinking about gift giving. I didn't have any money and I had never really given my parents a gift but I wanted to. I took a box. A plain brown cardboard box. In that box it had some shredded paper. (At that time my mom was into ceramic doll making.) Well, I took a sheet of paper and left them a note. It said:
In this box it just looks like a box of shredded paper. But the eyes are decietful. Each piece of paper represents all the fond memories I have of being a child. All the times we played games, told silly stories, watched movies, and simply just giggled. Thank you for being amazing parents, and for loving me for who I am. Even if I had all the money in the world, I couldn't give you more then what I have right now. I love you! Merry Christmas!
My parents were teary eyed and speechless. It was then that I realized, a gift is much more then someone running an errand to get something off someone's wish list. A gift is MORE then trying to buy someone's affections or approval. A gift is sharing a part of who you are, and what that person means to you. There is nothing more pure then giving a gift from the heart, without any motive, any strings attached, or even without trying to "out do" one another. At one time I could find myself buying my kids more and more and more each and every year. Trying to outdo my kid's grandparents, giving them everything they wish for and more. I thought I was doing right. I mean, we are pretty fortunate and can give our kids what they want when we want. We don't usually do that though. Christmas is the one time of year I felt like I had free reign to do that. Just this year, I realize that I am doing more damage then good. Yes, they know we celebrate Christmas out of honor and love for the birth of savior Jesus Christ. BUT... they also seem to get greedier and greedier every year. Not this year. They are older. We talked. They understand. Their gifts will have more meaning. They will have lots of pleaure from them, but they are not getting things just because they are on sale! And can I say for the first time this year, SANTA will NOT be the hero?! Too many times Santa is the one who does the "Greatest" thing, but not this year!Those days are gone. Yes, we love Santa, but I hate when his "gift" is always the best gift. It does in some ways, take away from the center of our celebration, which is Christ's birthday.
Our gifts we share, will be something that brings more to the heart, then just "I got what I asked for!". And I couldn't be more satisfied then that!