I used to love Christmas and Birthdays. I have always been a generous gift giver, thoroughly enjoying the time I would take to carefully consider what gift(s) I would give each recipient. More often than
I used to love Christmas and Birthdays. I have always been a generous gift giver, thoroughly enjoying the time I would take to carefully consider what gift(s) I would give each recipient. More often than not, I would begin my search for Christmas gifts months ahead of the big day. It hasn’t been my way to wait until the last week or two before Christmas to rush through the chaos in the stores hoping to find that “perfect” gift. Giving gifts, whether large or small, truly meant ‘it’s the thought that counts’. But not anymore. Giving Christmas and Birthday gifts has become something I dread.
I didn’t grow up with Holidays or Birthdays. In my adult years they became very important to me, and I’ve enjoyed them all. Giving Christmas gifts, Birthday gifts, or even “Just Because” gifts, to my children and others I share a close relationship brought me tremendous happiness. To see the look of excitement on my children’s faces as they unwrapped their presents to find something I knew they would enjoy was amazingly beautiful. It didn’t matter to me whether I received a gift or not, because my happiness came from giving to them, and knowing they appreciated their gifts. Their squeals of excitement and arms tightly wrapped around my neck, telling me Thank You Mom!, is a memory I will always cherish.
I mostly enjoy giving “Just Because” gifts to those I care about, and who care about me. It means much more to me to give a gift to someone for no reason other than to express how much I care about them. No set date on the calendar dictating the ‘requirement’ to purchase gifts. There’s a immense sense of satisfaction to simply happen upon a gift item, while shopping in a store or browsing the internet, that causes me to think of someone I care about and smile that knowing smile that this gift will be cherished and appreciated by my children, friend or relative.
Life’s twists and turns has a way of altering us to the point where what used to be fun and exciting completely loses its appeal. The older I get, the more I see a real sense of Entitlement in our society today. In some families, there is the belief that receiving gifts for Christmas or Birthdays is a requirement, rather than a mutual expression of unselfish caring and giving. Where is it written that gift-giving during holidays or birthdays is required just because they are of the same family?! And, what of those amongst families who do not exhibit a caring and loving spirit for others in the family, but rather are selfish, disrespectful and mean-spirited? Would it be wrong to withhold Christmas or Birthday gifts from such ones? I think not.
The amount of money spent is not at issue. Where is it written that gifts must be given even to family members who do not treat us with dignity and respect? Where is it written that we must ignore these attitudes and behaviors thrust upon us without repercussion? Why are such ones “Entitled” to receive gifts from us simply because we are in the same family?! Where is it written, and who is the author? I want to know so I can personally wring their necks!
I’ve come to the point where I simply don’t want to celebrate the holidays or birthdays anymore. It isn’t fun anymore. Better yet, I’ll just send notes indicating a donation has been made to a charity in their name. Yeah, I like that one.
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