Stay with me friends.
I have a good idea after my rant is over!
In comments regarding my post “The Gifts Not Taken” it is evident that a lot of focus was on the un-thankful attitude of the receiver. I had not really considered it from that angle. I liked the illustration because it brought my mind to how much many people refuse the offer of God’s Greatest Gift – His Son. But today I want to deal with the fact that there are a lot of unappreciated gifts given (and generally taken) at Christmas.
We are inundated with commercialism at Christmas. If the teddy bear is three feet high, it’s not good enough because Sarah got one that is four feet tall. If the cell phone is in a pink case, it’s not right because it doesn’t have glitter on it. The red shirt will not be worn because it doesn’t carry some name brand on it. The sixty dollar shoes don’t have orange soles. The six hundred dollar diamond is Martha’s only gift and Sally had twelve gifts under the tree! And who can ever be happy with a new dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, or ironing board! And wouldn’t you love to be married Yurry and be the receiver of that new car with the red ribbon on top!
When I had a job and two sons to buy for, I could come up with a couple hundred dollars each and buy a significant gift that would top what they might get occasionally throughout the rest of the year. On retirement my four hundred has shriveled and it now needs to be divided between twenty-two people, my gifts are not very awesome! And my retirement will often come closer to buying for Christmas than many average household budgets!
My rant is over. Now for an idea that works and my family loves it (if we are able to work in time together).
OUR MOST PLEASURABLE GIFT GIVING CONSISTS OF GIFT GIVING! I watch for novel items that don’t strain the budget throughout the year. I don’t plan for any particular person but try to get a variety to suit sex and age groups. One year I came out with about fifty or sixty items in my Christmas box. I increase my number of gifts by whatever comes to mind that can be wrapped even including a box of cereal. At Christmas everyone choose a gift which he has to give away! We sat in a circle and chose gifts until they ran out. My daughter-in-law one time told me the box of garden bags was the best gift she ever received. Probably a bit of over-speech but obviously an unforgettable gift! At one time one of the guys unwrapped an antique oil can (among the most expensive things I ever bought); he reluctantly, but graciously, gave it away. However, my sneaky grandson quickly caught on to giving his mother anything he wanted to keep! Brilliant maneuver!
It is now hard for me to have all family members present, but if a dozen or so show up that’s what we’ll do. Left overs are still good for another year or they hit the donate box. My wrapping for this year will start with unclaimed gifts from last year plus some dollar store toddler’s books and Christmas socks. I found last year’s gifts in the closet the other day! They were for family members who could not come and I forgot. So there they sat, top shelf in their giant size Christmas bag!