Good morning all! It’s me again, Laurie.
The holiday season is again upon us. I have been listening to people chatter about their expected holiday celebrations, gift giving, family traditions and the infamous “shopping trips”. Regardless of what holiday you are celebrating (Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa), each holiday has its tradition of “gift giving”.
For the past few days, I have been pondering in my own mind “Why do I do this “holiday hustle” every year?” All this time, money, effort and work? Is it worth it? Does anyone care?
As a child I could not wait for the holiday celebration to begin. I would take my saved up allowance and joyously go out and buy all my family and friends what I considered the perfect gift. (At least as best as my allowance would allow.) Ahh, the joys of being a child. The month of December would move by at a snails pace and finally would come the time to start all the cleaning and preparation of the traditional family dishes. The work was always abundant, but I truly enjoyed every minute of it. Then finally, our big holiday would arrive and be over in a blink of an eye, reminding me that I would have to wait another year before we could do it again.
Time eventually passed and I became an adult with my own family. When the children were small, I basked in the traditions of our holiday celebration. I would cook for hours, clean for days, buy and wrap presents and decorate our house in the traditional holiday décor. The happy little faces of my 3 children (and even my husband) filled with anticipation for our holiday celebration reminded me of my own childhood. Knowing how happy they all were, made it all worth it for me. My grandmother, god rest her soul, would be so proud that I carried on all the family traditions passed down by her.
Then something I can’t explain happened. For the past few years, I have drudgingly followed through with our family traditions. Something that used to fill me with absolute joy has now been reduced to an interrupting annoyance in my life. The holidays have become too commercialize. Everyone is in a hurry. I now feel overwhelmed rather than happy and joyous. Gifts have been replaced with impersonal gift cards or gift certificates. What happened to the happiness that the holiday celebrations use to bring?
Then the strangest thing happened to me yesterday. I was looking through an old wooden box that I keep paperwork and personal memorabilia in. I was looking for some paperwork when I came across a holiday card from my grandmother. Stunned, because I haven’t seen it in over 15 years, I opened the card. Inside she wrote, “ I hope you love the coat. You are important to me and I want you to always be warm. I love you always, never forget that.” She passed on that year. I still have the coat and card. My grandmother always had the best sound advise. After reading that card, it occurred to me. She purchased that gift for me because I was important to her. I never once asked for a coat but it is something I use from time to time until this day. I think of her every time I wear it.
After finding that card, I had an epiphany. For many years, I purchased gifts for people that showed I was thinking of them in my own way. For the past few years, I have purchased gifts based on peoples wants. And yes, I have bought gift certificates and gift cards. I’ve never put a personal note with a gift. (Need to change that) Now thinking about it, it seems foolish that I didn’t. Isn’t the message what it’s all about? My grandmother’s message said it best, she purchased the coat because I was important to her and she wanted me to be warm. Simple. (Maybe that is why I can’t part with the coat, it makes me think of her.)
Feeling a ton better after finding that card, I began to look for things that I wanted to get the people I most care about. My gifts are going to be what I want to give. Honestly, I feel a lot better about it. Believe it or not, much less stressed. My gift should reflect how I feel about my loved ones. I am also determined to include a card with a personal note for each of my loved ones.
So I began my search and came across an interesting item for my husband. My husband is always looking for additional surge protectors because he covers up the extra plugs with the large transformers from his devices. I found 3 Pc. Plug Extenders for him. A plug extender is a mini cord that you can plug into the end of the transformer and the opposite end into the surge protector. Should solve the problem. I will get him other things but I think he will be surprised that I noticed his dilemma and that his problem mattered enough to me to try and fix it.
The same goes for my 3 kids and their battery obsessions. I am planning on getting each one of them a Battery Rack 40. For my two college going children, I plan on getting each one of them a Power Station Traveller. This way they can make sure their cell phones are always charged and have a case to carry all their small electronics to class rather than leave them in the car.
Nobody has asked for these items but I can see how it will make their lives easier and I want them all to be happy.
Well, that’s all for now. I hope you all enjoy your holidays. I plan on getting my holiday spirit back this year. Remember to buy a gift that says what you want to say. A personal short note will make all the difference in the world.
Please feel free to leave me a comment.
You can find any of the products mentioned above at most online retailers. (Amazon.com, Cable Organizers, Batteries Plus Stores, The Container Store, Lillian Vernon Catalog, Herrington Catalog to name a few)