The holidays

October 8, 2009

I love the holidays. And although the 93 degree/super-humid weather here belies the fact, the Christmas holidays are just around the corner.

Many of us bemoan the crass commercialism of this time of year. We Americans absolutely overdo everything and the spirit of the season can get lost. I’ve noticed that around middle age, people start agreeing not to give Christmas gifts. Saying that gifts are for kids. Or don’t reflect the true spirit of the season.

I disagree.

Kids I know get way too much at Christmas. An orgy of toys and things they couldn’t possibly enjoy all at once. They’re sometimes hard to buy for–because they already have everything.

Adults? Another matter entirely!

I think people who don’t want to give holiday gifts –even homemade ones–just don’t enjoy the process or the experience of giving. I like homemade gifts that are made with love. And even better if they are made with me and my interests in mind. A friend once knitted a lovely scarf for me. I loved it! I like homemade art. Homemade jams.

It doesn’t have to be a little blue Tiffany box. (Although M. is very good about those and I love getting them!) But I would be equally happy with something that reflects how my friends feel about me. Because it’s the thought that is important. and if I can tell they were thinking about me in particular, it makes me feel good.

One of my chief joys in life is picking out what seem to me to be perfect gifts for the people on my list. I don’t look on it as an obligation. And I don’t have to spend a huge amount of money. I shop all year round at sales and during vacations, and try to pick up unique little things that remind me of that person. I spend time thinking about that person, what they’re like, what they mean to me and then choose.

This year, M. and I have very special and personal gifts in mind for those on our list. I’ve already put the list together and started thinking about each person. So we can pick something that reflects them, their life and how we feel about them.

Holiday gift giving. I love it.

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