It's The Thought That Counts

It’s December. How did that happen? I’m not ready for the holidays. My stomach cramps just thinking about holiday shopping. It means time away from my computer, from my encroaching deadline. It means fighting crowds, dealing with rude shoppers and frustrated sales clerks. It means agonizing over what to buy for those we love. I hate that. Gifts should be meaningful. Not something we buy in a rush. Not something we purchase out of duty.

Last week a Wal-mart worker was crushed to death by shoppers obsessed with a Black Friday sale. That sickened me on so many levels. It makes me want to rebel against the modern-day version of Christmas. Against materialism. It makes me want to dig deep and adopt the true spirit of Christmas. The spirit of giving from the heart.

This urge is intensified by the sobering reality of this nation’s economic dilemma. So much hardship. Hardship suffered by some I personally know and/or love.

A dear friend of mine sent me a handmade Christmas pin, a charity inspired project. She sends me one every year. I treasure it. Because she made it. Because it’s lovely. Because it comes from the heart.

This year all of my Christmas gifts will come from the heart. Whether personal or professional. Self-made crafts or confections, maybe a personalized story or donations to charities. Sorry. No scarves this year unless I knit them myself.

I hope my friends and loved ones won’t be disappointed. I hope they’ll embrace the same old-fashioned ideals as me.

It’s the thought that counts.

What about you? Do you feel differently this year about gift giving? Yes? No? Why?

Comments

Jen said…
I'm hoping that everyone else will actually join me in doing the homemade thing. I ALWAYS give something homemade to every family member (and most friends) but rarely receive anything in return. I know people are busy, but when you consider how long it takes to shop....
One year I made everyone cookies-in-a-jar they were a big hit and everyone contacted me in the following months to tell me when they'd baked them.
This year since I learned to crochet everyone is getting a scarf!
Tori Lennox said…
I avoided the whole crowd thing by doing my shopping online. I do not miss the days before Internet shopping.
flchen1 said…
I'm trying to do stuff online and to minimize the gifting, not to be cheap, but not to focus on the gifts, but to remember why we're giving gifts, period.

And handmade gifts are lovely! :)
Olga said…
I'm not good with crafts, so I'll try to give small gifts that I've bought but I know people will like. Otherwise, I've already gave a present to the most important person in my life.
Mary Stella said…
*sniffle* I'm always so glad that you like the pins.
charleneteglia said…
Becoming parents changed how we celebrate special occasions. It became about celebrating time together as a family, and gift-giving is minimal. Partly financial (working outside the home was no longer an option after kid #1), partly due to what was good for kids. What's good for kids is NOT getting overwhelmed with too much at once or the stress of making too big a deal out of a day.

I'm probably going to bake this year's gifts. The kids each asked for one special toy we'll get them. (We do get them toys throughout the year, but they can assimilate them one at a time much better than all at once.) Simplicity makes us all happier.