Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Season of Giving

My love language is not gift giving.  I wish it were.  It is a very lovely language.  And who doesn't like presents, right?  And it's not that I don't want to give gifts.  It's just that it's not the first thing that comes to mind, and I'm just not very good at it.

Which makes the Christmas season just a little difficult.  I truly want to give gifts, but it is usually a struggle to decide what to give.  A Facebook friend of mind had this as her status the other day:

My family exchanges Christmas lists not to dampen the holiday spirit of surprise, but in order to maximize our resources as we express our appreciation of each other.
I love lists.  I love the idea of getting someone what they wanted.  Not only did they truly want it, but my resources have been maximized.  However, my little girls are too young to make lists.  So buying gifts for them was a struggle, because I could literally buy them anything and I know they will appreciate it.

We decided before we had kids that we would adopt a certain method of giving gifts to our children.  It was done by a family we knew of back in Omaha.  They always gave each of their children only three gifts each: an article of clothing, an educational present, and a fun present.  Let's face it: it's way to easy to go crazy this time of year.  And there is a very thin line between the commercialism of unbelievers and the true meaning of Christmas.  As kids it is almost impossible to avoid the land of What Did I Get.  Limiting presents to three each still allows us to bless our children with gifts without going overboard.  I have adjusted the clothing item to an actual outfit...and a new outfit at that.  A real treat for my girls whose wardrobe is 99% second-hand clothes. 

Anyway, even with these boundaries, it was still difficult for me to buy presents for my girls.  I'm looking forward to the years when they can give me lists.  They are still too young for solid preferences.  So I ended up buying things that I imagine all girls of their age would want. 

Even though I'm not a gift-giver, I love that this time of year is cause for me to exercise that muscle.  Maybe I'll be stronger at it as the years pass.  Or maybe I'll just look forward to reading the lists of the things that my girls hold dear.  And really, nothing can top the real Gift that is reason for the season.  So I'll just do what I can.

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