Christmas Tales Of Giving And Receiving
Last year I wrote a series of posts about my Christmas memories. This year I thought I’d take a bit of a different focus. I’ve been thinking a lot about gift giving and receiving. And about the gifts I already have in My Life. As I was driving home from work yesterday — it dawned on me that for the first time in forever I was completely contented. I truly lacked for nothing.
My Personal Wish List was empty.
Sure I could put world peace or a political system which isn’t corrupt as the day is long on it. But My Life — is good. There is not a single thing someone could buy me on Amazon which would make it better.
And that is frustrating the hell out of everyone who wants to give me birthday and Christmas gifts, I gotta tell you!
But I thought I would write about all those gifts I already have. The ones I’ve been given over the years, the ones I’ve given. Those perfect ‘OH MY!’ moments in the holidays when Magic touched the heart and landed with a tiny gasp.
The tradition of gift giving in December dates pre-Christianity back to MY people — Pagans. Pagans are responsible for all the fun traditions the Christians have hijacked over time. Please feel free to Google it if you don’t believe me. It has jack to do with The Three Wise Men.
Giving gifts in December goes all the way back to a lovely orgy/festival dedicated to the Sun God as darkness turned to light. It usually started around my birthday (ironically) the week before Christmas and carried on for the entire week. The Winter Solstice hits on 12/21 (where I live in the Northern Hemisphere) and is known by all as the longest night of the year.
Christianity cleaned up all the excesses of the Sun God’s festival but somehow gift giving refused to be left by the wayside. Enter The Three Wise Men. And validation for all of us — even Puritans — to give each other gifts every December.
And so we do. But the best gifts I have given and received have several things in common. They often are items which are handmade with love and care. They are gifts I did not know I wanted. They are useful items which I use or wear regularly and can remember the of the giver with love. They are donations to causes which are close to my heart. They are experiences to events I enjoy. They are wisdom shared by someone who has walked The Path. They are time spent together — quality time — seeing, hearing, being with each other.
It is rare they come shipped in a box from Amazon.
As we go through December, I’ll share some of my most cherished gifts. But the take away is this: A gift to someone you care about shouldn’t be a thing you check off on a list. It shouldn’t be a thing which causes you stress. A gift should be given with Love and Joy and all the Blessings you want the recipient to feel when they open it. Because they will. They will feel the intention, whatever you give — you also give that as well.
We can make Christmas a time of commercial madness as we rush around trying to do more, spend more, give more. Or we can focus on that which matters most. We can give each other gifts that count, gifts that last, gifts that truly convey to them the Magic which is Christmas.
And we can start by giving ourselves the gift of self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance. Those who ‘make’ Christmas for their loved ones — give yourself the gift of an evening off — no matter what your holiday schedule looks like and do your favorite thing or nothing at all. Drink from the cup of self-indulgence and know that you are also worthy of being on Santa’s Nice List. Put your own name next to all the rest on your gift giving list and find a moment to just breathe.