Gifts, gifts and more gifts. This usually seems to be theme surrounding Christmas time. Ask children what their favorite part of Christmas is and the response you’ll get the most is “presents”. A Christmas tree is not complete without presents underneath it. How often do you see a Christmas tree display with empty boxes wrapped in fancy paper tucked underneath the tree? Probably every time.
So much money is spent shopping for gifts. Sometimes money that people don’t have. Then stress levels go through the roof. All for what? For a gift that may not even be appreciated or used at all. But, that doesn’t compare to the guilt that is felt if gifts are bought and handed out. In some cases, people are even ridiculed for not giving a gift.
Material gifts are not what the holidays are about. Even though this thought runs through many people’s head, it never changes the fact that gifts become the focal point of the holidays. The holidays are about something much more important.
The greatest gift to give
The holidays are about love. Love for your family, love for your friends and even love for strangers. Spending time with one another and sharing moments with those that you care about. Hugs, kisses, smiles, and cries are all part of these moments.
Wonderful memories are created in these moments. Moments of laughter, a long embrace of those you’ve been apart from, smiles that come from watching everyone enjoying themselves and tears of happiness. These are memories that will last a lifetime. This is what the holidays are about.
Many may argue that gifts are an extension of the love that we have for one another, but it’s not. It doesn’t take a gift to share precious moments with those you care for. When you look back on your memories, it’s not the gifts that you’ll remember most, but the time you spent with someone and how that felt. That is the greatest gift to give.
A different kind of Christmas
The thought of a Christmas without gifts has come to mind many times. And with each year it becomes stronger. I’m proposing to have a Christmas with no gifts. Of course, this proposal has to be approved by my wife. But, as a family, I would love to have a Christmas where no gifts are expected and for one year at least, not receive any gifts.
I’m not proposing this as something to happen for every Christmas from here on out, but just for the next one. Once to remember what these holidays are really about. Celebrating one another and creating the memories to take with us. Time together and memories to have for the rest of our lives are the greatest gifts that one can receive.
Happy Holidays everyone!