We’re getting really, really close to Christmas Day. Have you noticed? Throngs of folks out picking up gifts for everyone they love—and maybe some they don’t—all hoping that the recipient will feel the love held for them by the giver through the gift chosen and given.
It’s kinda fun, actually. (Except for the “throngs” part. Crowds are not my… “thing”.)
But tonight as Jen and I were out getting a few last things for the Big Day, I couldn’t help but think (and say… I’m still not very good at ever not saying something that I think…) that perhaps the reason I don’t involve myself in the gift giving frenzy as much as many others I observe is this: I love to give gifts every day!
That probably sounds weird… I’m not constantly looking for, purchasing, nor ever wrapping in colorful papers various items perfectly suited to all of my family members, extended relatives and close friends and presenting them to them at equally various gatherings at homes. I’m really not.
But I do like to buy things for the people I love. (Even some I just like.)
Tonight we stopped by a Goodwill thrift store which we frequent. As I am wont to do, I browsed the book section and found several good reads, most of which were for a couple of my children. I found one for my daughter—which, given the proximity to December 25th, will be a Christmas present… so… SHH!—and another for our son, who will turn fourteen this coming Tuesday. (Yep! Christmas!)
As I was picking that one out, I thought we might give it to him for Christmas… then perhaps that it could be a birthday gift. Then I just chuckled to myself as I considered just giving it to him tonight!
Jen is a good sport. She LOVES everything about giving (and receiving, I think) gifts on Christmas Day. She plans for, perhaps, up to the entire year before the day and has a big list of everyone in our somewhat large extended family. She must have equal gifts for all (at least those in our household); if not in quality, then in quantity… but really in both. I, on the other hand, am almost never thinking about “what to get [insert relative] for Christmas”. EVER.
Sometimes we’re quite an odd pair. 🙂
Jen said she would support my decision, whatever it may be, on when to give that newly purchased book to Ian. So, I decided to save it for another birthday present. Ian loves books… and I love Ian… and birthdays are about loving the one you love with something they love (at least, in some ways?)—so I chose birthday.
But I had purchased another book that seemed more appropriate to give to Ian upon our return home.
After coming in the house with a few bags of goodies, I began to dole out the books from our little Goodwill bag. I gave Ian the book on grammar that I intended to give to him tonight. He smiled and graciously—even excitedly?—received it. Then I pawed through the remaining half-dozen books for myself, or Jen and others, honestly forgetting that I had chosen to give one of the remaining ones to Ian for a birthday present!
As I lifted that book out, Ian had momentarily glanced somewhere else, so I was able to successfully drop it back in the bag, without him catching a glimpse of the cover. Whew!
Ian laughed and said, “Dad, you’re really not very good at Christmas gifts. You can’t keep your gifts secret!” (Or, something like that.)
Perhaps he’s right. Maybe I’m just impatient? Once I’ve found and acquired a gift for someone I love… I must give it! Maybe that’s it.
But it’s something else.
I really do think that I live a lifestyle of giving. (Note: I am not claiming to be the most generous person, or anywhere close to that.) If I see something that reminds me of someone, or that I know they would love—I get it for them. It doesn’t have to be their birthday, or Christmas, or even Flag Day!. And then, the next time I see them, I give it to them. It’s fun to give!
I know I’m the weird one here. I know people (my wife chief among them) LOVE everything about the Christmas gift-giving season. I know. But I think I might love the other way even more. (And, as already stated, I certainly do participate in the Christmas version of gift giving, too… it just feels funny around this last few weeks of December when I do my normal buy-something-for-someone-because-I’m-thinking-of-or-reminded-of-them thing, but “have to” hold on to it—and even wrap it—because the calendar tells me so.)
It’s at least slightly humorous, isn’t it?
Christmas is now only two days away! Not much longer must I wait to distribute the handful of gifts I’ve saved up over the last month or so. (Whew!) AND, just a few days until I can go back to giving gifts any day I’d like! (Again, whew!)
Does anyone else feel that way? Am I completely alone on this one?
It could very well be! 🙂
Merry Christmas, reader. Enjoy the day, and the greatest Gift of all: Emmanuel!