Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thoughts at Christmastime 2011....

At this time of year I seem to do a lot of reflecting on what the season really means to me.  So many people try to change Christmas traditions and make bold statements about why the change is warranted.  One of these things is the abolition of gifts.  So many people I know have decided to not give out gifts at Christmastime.

When this trend first started to gain popularity, I was understanding.  'Of course it's hard to buy gifts for all of those people!'   'Of course you should only give gifts to the children- Christmas is all about them anyway.'  And, I let it ride....for a while....slowly realizing that I was becoming selfish.  I was buying into the idea that I shouldn't give gifts to people unless they were really important, closely related, or they were going to give me one.  How wrong I was!

You see, the less I gave, the unhappier I was becoming.  Christmastime was losing it's luster.  In fact, I was losing the spirit of Christmas!

The most joyful part of Christmas is the GIVING.  It has nothing to do with receiving or buying.  A gift is a "gift" because of the love behind it, no matter how simple or small.  The joy I feel when giving a gift to someone I love, cannot be replicated.  I can bake a cookie with so much excitement and put all of the love I feel for that person into it.  That is my gift.  My love.

I have stopped worrying about whether or not my gifts will be "good enough" or appreciated.  It no longer matters to me.  My gift will be given freely without expectations.  I do not seek for gratitude or a gift in return.  I can only hope that the receiver of my gift will feel my love.  For that is the real gift I bring, just wrapped in pretty paper.