I am not bah humbug but I think I have not been enjoying the lead up to Christmas this year. I am leaning more towards the advent quiet contemplation and reflection way of doing things. (As opposed to the stuff yourself with tiny chocolates and stress yourself out at the shops kind.) This is all well and good since Christmas this year is a much smaller affair, but it doesn’t really help with the gifts.
All the thinking has led to some awkward questions. Like how does running around spending money we don’t really have on things people probably don’t want but are too polite to admit it actually fit in to a life of authenticity, acceptance, love and faith. Here have this bit of tat so I can say I bought you something? Is that who I want to be? is that who I want to encourage other people to be?
So what are the helpful questions then? What do we ask that leads to kindness, goodness, gratitude? Is there a way to give gifts so that we are growing the relationship rather than just going through the motions, or worse yet assuaging the guilt?
Because gifts should ultimately be about saying here is a little bit of me for you to have, to do with as you please. Sometimes we can think that for a gift to be meaningful, it has to cost us something. Time. Money. Energy. By this argument, most of my friends (and definitely The Dude) would be in trouble. I can be time and energy poor and we won’t talk about the money. At Christmas, there are always more people to buy for than money in the bank.
But what if the gift was about meaning? Memories? Moments? I could think of who I am and who you are and give according to that. Give the best of me to help you become the best of you. Because the best things in life aren’t always things. And when they are, it’s not always the thing but the possibility that thing brings.
A mug of coffee with a friend .
A secret recipe.
A pile of laundry folded.
Now those are gifts I can give. Okay maybe not the laundry one!