Today at lunch we had an interesting conversation about Christmas, gift giving, the rising costs of presents, and how most of us moms tend to do 99.9% of the gift buying. Our conversation (as you can guess) went in many directions, and I am going to share what I found striking.
~Many of us stress over money during the holidays. Each year we vow to 'cut back.' What is sad, though, is that many of us truly enjoy giving more than anything else. Money really shouldn't matter when it's a gift that we choose a special gift for someone in particular. Whether it costs us ten dollars or way more, some of us just enjoy seeing the reaction on our loved one's faces when they see what we chose, made, or sought out just for him/her.
~A few colleagues complained about spending the holidays with in laws and the clash of personalities that comes with it. I personally don't have to deal with this, because my mother in law is awesome. There is no guilt, greed, or anything that she does that would ever cause me stress during this season--or any other for that matter.
~People often comment about what Christmas is really about: the birth of Jesus. Have we gotten away from that? Is taking time out to send cards, update others on our lives, getting excited when our mailboxes fill up, giving gifts to friends and family, enjoying the yummy treats that coincide with the holiday season not right?
We can blame the media, the stores, and whatever else on the pros and cons of Christmas. It's up to us as parents to choose what we want to instill in our children about Christmas. I am the first to admit that my favorite part about Christmas used to be getting gifts. (DUH) My parents never went over the top. In fact, I have some funny stories about rather...ahem...bad gifts that I have received. Now I just love giving. I love debating over what to buy. I love expressing my love for family and friends by taking the time to picking out a special gift. I find it rewarding.
So give if you want. Don't give if you don't want to. Teach your children want you really want them to get out of Christmas. What you teach them will most certainly stay with them for a long time.