Is it just my perspective or is there a general lessening of Christmas-hype these days?
I have lowered my expectations in all ways. I expect and want for nothing. That is the easy part. The more challenging side of the equation is that I have cut back on gifting.
I followed through on my plan to be anonymously give where I saw and felt a need. It was the right thing to do. I do not want or need to be recognized. But there is something lost in gifting to someone when you know that you will never see the reaction of the giftee. It is a tiny bit akin to paying a bill ...
One of my most magical Christmas memories was the year when we spent Christmas morning with My Brother's family. His daughters were in their teens at the time. An age when it is easy to get wrapped up in the it's-all-about-me stage of development.
What did I see that was so captivating? It was in watching My Niece's reactions, as the gifts that they gave were opened. As happy and pleased as they were, opening their own gifts ... it was the pure, unadulterated joy in their faces as they watched the gifts that they had given that remains with me years later.
It is a joy and a blessing to be able to give. To find the 'perfect' gift and watch the surprise and pleasure as the recipient unveils what is hidden underneath the wrapping.
I don't have many surprises up my sleeve this Christmas. It feels all wrong to be empty-handed as I walk through this season.
Last night I received a gift. Thankfully, days prior to this exchange some words and pictures started coming together in my mind and I drafted a personalized letter to the very person who gifted me unexpectedly. I felt rather defeated as I walked out with a gift in my hand ... and all that I had given was a folded piece of paper.
I came home and reread the words that I had written. They were personal, genuine and a gift that I would have enjoyed receiving. It was the right thing to do.
Days earlier, I gave what I felt was 'the best gift for the occasion' ... with words of explanation as to why I gave what I did. I gave, with no intention of receiving. Yet once again, I was surprised with a gift. It was exactly the same gift that I had given ... that I received.
I lit up inside, as my wish of people gifting themselves in the way that they give to others was realized without plan or design.
Now ... the pressure is on, as I would like to envelope this feeling throughout the season.
The magic is in the giving. Sometimes, the magic is in telling a person just how much they have given to you ... and ask that they give that same gift to themselves.
"May this be the year where you give to yourself ...
What you give to others without thinking."