“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”― Bob Hope
We’re moving towards the Christmas Holiday Season. This season is supposed to bring with it happiness and joy, but it can also carry sadness for some people. Our economy still hasn’t rebounded and many people find themselves without jobs.
If you focus on the materialism of the holiday, there is an unspoken pressure to out-do or go over the top on gift-giving. Parents can feel pressured to lavish their children with expensive toys and electronics especially if that is what they have received in the past. It can be hard to be the person that can’t give gifts because you have to make your mortgage, rent or car payment. Who wants to explain that you are just making it? Gift-giving has become more of a status competition and not an expression of love between people who care about each other.
But, if you shift your focus to the spirit of the Christmas Holiday season, then you understand that it’s not about what you can buy in a store. A gift is so much more than something expensive wrapped up in pretty paper and covered with a bow. Not having store-bought gifts doesn’t make it any less Christmas. It’s supposed to be an exchange of love. It’s not loving to feel bad about what you can’t afford. It should be about spending time with friends or family. It should be about sharing your talent and gifts with those you love. The most memorable gifts are the ones that are unexpected. Will they remember the year that you bought them something on their list? Or will they remember the year that they unwrapped a sweater you knitted? Or the earrings you made? Or the special poem you wrote for them.
Unfortunately, with our materialistic culture, there is less appreciation placed on our ability to create with love. Young children don’t always understand the benefits of something that was created with the two hands of someone you love. But, as someone who has lost people I care about, I can tell you how special it is when you hold something that someone made especially for you. You can feel the loving thoughts coming from it and feel much more of a connection than from a store-bought gift.
The goal this season is to remember why we celebrate the holiday. It’s not about standing in long lines and spending ourselves into debt. It’s about sharing and showing love. It’s never about the gift. It’s about the thought. When you buy or create a gift, you thought about that person up until the moment that they rip it open and smile. It’s that thought that lights you up inside and that thought that makes them cherish the gift you have given them. The true gift is allowing that person to live in your heart and mind.
“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” ― Charles M. Schulz