making a list, and checking it twice!

I am going to write something radical, so if you have a weak constitution I suggest that you sit down.

I like giving Christmas presents.

I adore giving Christmas presents.

I would be more than saddened if I could not gift something to my nearest and dearest at Christmas.

In recent times it has become almost a mantra that many people utter as some chorus of superiority. I don’t think it is superior, or makes anyone finer to not give gifts. It is just a life choice, a decision made by an individual, which is their right.

We have never had extra money in the budget to be too extravagant with our gift giving, but we have always managed something. Sometimes more than one something! More times than not, however, Mr FD and I have forgone gifts to each other as the budget wouldn’t stretch that far.

Our children grew up with the pleasure of receiving gifts, but more importantly they grew up with the joy of giving. Without a doubt, we all find more happiness in giving than receiving, and that is a gift in itself.

These days, I am more mindful of wants and needs. I don’t want to give something that is just going to clutter someone’s personal space. Often it is something small that can be used and disappears, like a lovely scented soap. Or consumed, like the small gingerbread cottages we make some years.  Bibliophile that I am, I love to select books for the people I love, and especially the children. Choose a book for a child and you are helping a child become the person they will become. I work very hard to match the gift to the individual, because it brings me joy.

Christmas is what we choose to make it, be it with or without gift giving, be it ever so humble or not. Mine has gifts.

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10 thoughts on “making a list, and checking it twice!

  1. *Gasp* hang on while I recover! I loved gift giving as part of the holidays. My late aunt was known for giving the best gifts. They were so thoughtful – perfect for whomever was recieving. Sadly nowadays I have to beg my family to skip the gifts. They are just bought for the sake of buying. Gawdy clotihng that does not fit me, trinkets that jam up our cabinets. We plan on buying this holiday, but after seeing workers forced to come in on Thanksgiving and shoppers assaulting each other, we prefer to take a step back, breathe some outside air and make a list beforehand so we don’t become disoriented zombie shoppers. I’m sure you do the same.

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    • I think it is an insult to give someone a present without aforethought. Why bother, as you say! We certainly keep is small these days, and most years we donate to a charity such as Care Australia. FIL used to get a thrill to know that we donated a pig or farm tools in his name, for when he was in his 90s he had no need for gifts and enjoyed us giving in his name.

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  2. I love giving as well. And I usually make things for people but I kind of got disheartened with it because people, by that I mean my in laws (who I’m pretty sure don’t read your blog so I can bitch about them) just used to open them and go – that’s nice love – then put it aside and not appreciate the thought that went into it. AND THEN give me some ugly china biscuit jar shaped like a damn snowman, wtf?, that I’m supposed to swoon over. So, now they get gift vouchers.

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    • Vouchers are good, because at least you really can get what you want! I know what you mean about ugly gifts. I was just given a really over the top floral grandmaish china cup that could never be “me”, and now I am faced with what to do with it. Luckily I think my Mum would love it, and she is always dropping cups due to her arthritis, so it might have a short life with her! My Mum has a set way of opening presents, she always declares “I just wanted one of those!” and she sounds so excited, no matter what it is!

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  3. We have no family living nearby…..just 4 neighbours with whom we’ve shared a close friendship for 30 years. Initially we gave presents at Christmas, but then decided just for each of us to prepare food and bring it for our Christmas Day get-together. I guess preparing food for others can be a special kind of gift anyway.

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    • Preparing food for another person is a very special gift! Food is a big part of our family gatherings for that very reason. We show our love through the food that we choose to offer our friends and loved ones.

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  4. I am ridiculously obsessed with gift giving! I’m afraid I’ve overgiven in years past though–sets the kiddies up for disappointment in lean years, possibly. There just isn’t any better feeling, though, that knowing you’ve found that perfect gift for everyone on your list!

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