‘Tis the season for annoying commercials and the extreme commercialism that has become this holiday season. Everywhere you look there is another ad for something else you simply have to buy. One recent ad on the air here touted, repeatedly, that this was the season of getting. The entire ad never once said the word give, or at least not that I heard.
What’s the worst part of it is many people blame this get, get, get, give me, give me, give me mentality on The Spirit of Santa Clause. It’s no more The Spirit of Santa Clause than it is The Spirit of Christmas. Santa Clause is about giving, not getting.
The Spirit of Santa Clause is about giving time and talent to make or find that exactly right gift, that special something for someone you love. It’s about family and time.
In the hustle and bustle of this world too many of us forget why we celebrate Christmas. They focus so completely on what they’d like to receive they barely even think about what they are giving. The Spirit of Santa Clause isn’t just about giving, it’s about giving the right gift.
Stop focusing on how much you’re spending, other than keeping it within your budget, and don’t worry about how many gifts there are. Think about what will really please the person you are getting those gifts for.
One year, with a really tight budget, as usual. I could only get one gift for each of my children. I skimped and saved. I planned. I tried to figure out what each of my kids would love to get, that I could afford. It wasn’t easy because I knew that one of my kids wanted a camera. But with a great deal of effort, I managed to find just the right gift for all of them, including that camera, the most expensive gift I bought that year, and probably ever.
But the right gift doesn’t have to bought, it can be made. In fact, the very best presents are from the heart, handmade especially for the recipient.
Can you draw? Then make a picture.
Do any sort of handcraft? Utilize them.
Do you have a sewing machine and know how to use it? Same thing.
Can you cook? Bake? Know anyone who is away from home this time of year? A box of homemade goodies always pleases.
My daughter does paint by number pictures and frames them for gifts, or counted cross stitch pictures. She’s also knitted baby hats and made necklaces and earrings.
I can crochet, knit, do cross stitch and other handcrafts. I can cook and I write. It’s a simple thing to plan what handcrafts you’ll use to make that one gift for that one person on your list. As a writer, there is nothing wrong with composing a story for your family as a gift. Perhaps you’ll manage to pen the next great best seller. Richard Paul Evans did and The Christmas Box was born.
I’ve made gifts for my children over the years and they still talk about them. I can think of at least twice, if not three times that I’ve written something as a gift.
Personally, I think it’d be a wonderful tradition to make at least some of your gifts each year. But I’d challenge all of you to really think about your giving and who those gifts are for. The best gift for someone who collects Nativities is one they don’t have yet. It’s not that book, movie, game or anything else you can think of that you absolutely adore but they don’t.
So in the true Spirit of Santa Clause and the true spirit of the season, the Christmas season, give from the heart.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.