Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Gift Giving

I like the Christmas holiday. I like the decorations, the wrapping paper, the jingle of the Salvation Army bell and the happy people I see when I’m shopping. I’m not going to get into the crabby people (that would fill an entire page all by itself). I know I sound like I’m from another planet, but I DO enjoy it.

I make a list of whom I’m buying for and what that person would like. I get into the nitty-gritty of each person because I want to give a gift that would really be liked and shows that I actually put some thought into it. Gift cards, to me, aren’t personal enough and I don’t really like them (although they are convenient). I heard on the radio the other day that last year 8 billion dollars worth of gift cards haven’t been used from the previous year! I haven’t purchased many gift cards, and after that stat I'm not sure I want to buy another! Cash is much easier and the person isn't limited, so I'll stick with that "universal gift".

I know, I said I like to shop for that special gift, so how is it I give cash? To keep it short and simple-I give cash for the same reason others give me and mine gift cards. Read into that what you wish.

I hear so many people say they’re at a loss for gift ideas. I’ve only felt that way once or twice and that was for a boss who had everything. Other than that, I normally don’t have a problem with gift ideas. I think it has to do with how well you pay attention to people. If you’re attentive, you’ll know what they like and dislike. Life is fast paced and crazy, even more so during the holidays. But if we just took a little time to get to know 3 details about our family members, friends and co-workers we’d have 3 clues, that with some deliberation, would turn into 3 or even 6 gift ideas.

However, Christmas isn’t about BUYING something. Each year I make someone a gift. This year I made my son a shirt with his favorite World of War Craft character ironed onto it. I printed the character off the game using the print screen button then pulled it into my photo program and added the character’s name. I printed that onto iron-on transfer paper and voila’ a custom made, one-of-a kind t-shirt! I also made bracelets for my mom, sisters and nieces. These bracelets happened by accident. I made one and it turned out SO pretty and it was SO easy that I HAD to make more!

Making gifts for people feels special to me. I’m creative and I like to share what I create. I think baking falls into this category too, but I don’t bake. I LOVE to get baked goods as a gift though! Chocolate chip cookies, cheese cake, rum balls, snicker doodles...YUM! If I were a Baker, I’d bake gifts for myself people.

But Christmas is truly about sharing love and the joy of the season. We should just chuck the whole gift exchange tradition for shared time with one another where we give of ourselves. Those are the treasures you CAN'T buy.

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