Feeling somewhat like The Grinch…

18 Dec

I am a member of The Nest and on days like today when there’s not much happening at work, I hang out on the boards when I am *ahem* on my 15 minute break. Today, I posted a poll about Christmas presents, asking the ladies on the board 4 questions:

1. Who do you buy presents for?

2. Who buys you presents?

3. Do you buy presents because you want to or because you feel it’s expected of you?

4. If you could only have one Christmas present, what would it be?

Most of the ladies who responded had long lists of people they buy presents for…but they said that they like buying all those presents and that they would buy more if they could.

Am I the only one who doesn’t like buying Christmas presents, who finds it more of a chore and annoyance than an actual joy? It’s not that I don’t like getting people presents. I just don’t like that presents at Christmas are expected. I don’t like getting lists from people of the things they want for Christmas. I don’t like wandering the mall for hours searching for something to get [insert name here] when nothing seems to fit their personality or needs.

I LOVE giving gifts when I am walking around and randomly see something that makes me think of that person, something I know they’ll love and use. I LOVE giving gifts when they aren’t expected, when they have more thought in them than just “I thought you might like this…(and it was the only thing I could think of to get you).”

Travis and I don’t even really buy Christmas presents for each other. Last year, we had planned on our “Christmas present to each other” being a romantic weekend at a B&B in the mountains. Due to financial constraint, it didn’t happen…and it was never rescheduled. This year, Travis wanted to buy new $180 hunting boots, but he didn’t want to spend all of his Blow (personal spending $) on them. So the deal was I got $180 to spend on myself. So we kind of did Christmas presents but not really, because we both picked out and bought what we wanted without the other person (although I was with Travis when he bought his boots).

I would rather donate all the money we would spend on Christmas presents for other people to a non-profit organization that could really use it–and use it for people who really NEED it. But I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I also stop myself because I wonder if my desire for doing so is more a selfish desire to not have to go shopping for Christmas presents, rather than a desire to be generous. I think about all the things I put on my (obligatory) Christmas list and would really be ok with not getting any presents if it meant I didn’t have to give any.

Look at me, being such a Scrooge. But I’m being honest! The best part about Christmas for me is being with family, eating great food, going to church, listening to Christmas songs, drinking hot chocolate and eating Christmas cookies. Presents are really the lowest thing on the list for me. I really don’t think I would miss them at all.

But maybe I’m just being selfish. Maybe I’m forgetting the joy of thinking for other people and supplying them with things they (I hope) enjoy and (I pray) they use.

Or maybe, buying presents for the affluent is like buying cookies for an obese man. He may eat them and he may enjoy them…but does he NEED them?

Next year, I’m going to make my Christmas presents. At least then they’ll have the thought and effort behind them…even if they don’t have beauty or practicality. 🙂

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