As a child, when the Christmas holidays come around, it’s normal to be focused on what you are going to find under the tree. I know, I could barely sleep on Christmas Eve, as the height of anticipation was overwhelming.
I will never forget when I started to realize that it wasn’t all about the getting, but more about the excitement that came from the giving.
When I was in first grade, my school set up a holiday bazaar for the students to do their own shopping for family. As I browsed around with my pocket full of change, I spotted the most perfect gift for my mom. It was an orange lobster pin. I knew she loved lobsters and I could barely contain myself on this brilliant find!
Christmas morning came, and even though I was excited to see what Santa brought me, I was more excited to see the look on my mother’s face when she opened her gift from me.
My favorite dad gift was a royal blue crushed velvet tie. I would often stand by the front door and make sure he was wearing it before he left the house. He would always run back upstairs and put it on. It went with absolutely nothing he owned, yet he wore it just the same because he knew it was a gift from his little girl.
The feeling I get in my heart from choosing gifts for others and watching their delight as they opened it is the greatest feeling I have ever experienced.
As I got older, I started a Christmas fund (in my secret place in my closet) where I would save all of my allowances, birthday and babysitting money. I wanted to purchase my gifts on my own. Giving was way better than receiving and I never wanted that feeling of joy to end.
The gift of giving is something you can instill in your children from very early on. It makes them think of others’ happiness. What would Mommy and Daddy like for Christmas? It helps them to look at their loved ones in a different light.
Since my arts and crafts talents are…well, non-existent, I found baking also made great gifts. Cookies, fudge and popcorn balls were my specialties and easy on my budget. Even little ones can bake with some adult supervision. I spent a lot of really wonderful holidays baking with my mom, and then baking with my kids.