Let’s face it. Gift giving and receiving is a big piece of the Holiday Season Puzzle. Sure, there are other big pieces to the puzzle (Thanksgiving, religious celebrations, family gatherings, cookies, helping strangers, New Year’s Eve fun), but gifts are what I wanted to chat with y’all about this time. I kinda think the whole gift giving and receiving process gets a bad wrap (yes…pun…ha). First of all, I agree with the notion that no matter your religious affiliation (or lack thereof), giving time, assistance and money during the holiday season is extremely important. The entire country may not agree on much, but I’ve heard that over 90% of us celebrate Christmas in some way, shape or form. That proves that most of us pretty much agree that it’s a season of extra kindness, love and fun. You can choose to give in little ways or big. Your options are truly limitless. This year I chose to do multiple small gestures instead of one grand gesture, and I feel very happy with my contributions. But, you know what also makes me feel very happy? Gifts! And quite frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. Not only do I love buying gifts for my 2-year-old son, but also for my husband, and even our dogs (we always get our dogs Christmas gifts – do you?). Like many of you, as an adult I’m not showered with loads of gifts from my parents anymore. So my husband and I pretty much take care of each other in that department. Each year we set a budget, give suggestions to each other and then just go for it. We have such a great time getting gifts for each other, wrapping them and watching each other open them. And we love doing all of this for our kiddo even more. There’s something special about witnessing the excitement in a child on Christmas morning. It’s one of life’s beautiful moments. And if you’re a brand new parent concerned about “spoiling” your child, here’s my answer for you…balance. It may sound cliche, but balance is a crucial part of parenthood, in general. If you want to and are able to shower your child with gifts on Christmas morning, by all means, go for it. Enjoy it. But as they get older you can also make sure they participate in your generosity by putting money in the Salvation Army bucket, helping a neighbor put up Christmas lights or delivering gifts to the less fortunate. I truly believe that a parent setting a genuinely positive example for their child will be able to convey strong moral values whether they give their kid a simple doll for Christmas or a new car.
And while I sincerely enjoy giving gifts, I can’t help but enjoy receiving them as well. I mean, come on. It’s fun! It’s amazing how I can suddenly transform into a child myself while opening a gift on Christmas morning that my husband bought me. I think about him going into a store on his own, finding it, hiding it from me and then wrapping it himself. Sure, I end up liking the gift itself, but I like the process even more. Most of us gals eat that kind of stuff up, don’t we? I love it.
So basically, I think gift giving and receiving is a fun and important part of the holiday season. And if we all just do a little something here and there for others throughout the year and especially during these celebratory weeks, I don’t think there’s anything to feel guilty about. All of our kind gestures most certainly add up. And remember, not everyone shouts from the rooftop (or posts on Facebook – same difference) every single time they are generous or help someone in need. That chick that bought her kid a $500 Christmas gift may have just given $1000 to a charity this season for all you know. Each family balances things in their own way, which is how it should be.
Happy Holidays, y’all. No matter the type of gift, I hope you gave and received something quite wonderful this year.