As I go about what appears to be an unusually hectic schedule of late, the words "What do you want for Christmas?" are a recurring theme. I went to the mall where people were asking their friends, "What did you ask for? What do you want?" At my hair appointment, I overheard "What do you hope to get for Christmas?" I noticed that the response was never anything intangible.
I am not being judgmental or critical. I am not being anti-consumer. I like presents too. They don't have to be huge. One or several small tokens of people's admiration and affection are certainly sufficient for me. After all, we're all kids at heart. Who doesn't love gifts, giving or receiving?
I have a friend who prefers to give gifts. As she says, she doesn't need presents to store away in her cupboards. She buys whatever she needs and wants for herself. She doesn't support causes or want donations on her behalf. Instead, she enjoys giving and making others happy. She likes cooking and baking and sharing her goodies. She loves seeing children's faces during the holidays and witnessing their enthusiasm and excitement. She feels blessed to be in a career where this can happen.
Some couples purchase a common gift, for their home, for example, a shared item which can also be useful for both.
I met a woman in town recently, a bit older, who also said she doesn't need or want anything. She and her friend were giving each other opera tickets, so that they might attend together...an experience enjoyed with a friend.
I suppose as we age, so does our idea of gift giving. I remember when my son was five. He received a snowsuit from his grandparents. He immediately voiced his disapproval, "That's not a present!" he announced loudly. A child's idea of a gift is of course, a toy. Now that he's twenty eight, he had no problem accepting the gift of a vacation from mom, even if it meant going with mom.
Naturally, hearing all these conversations and thoughts have made me think. What do I want for Christmas? It didn't take me long to decide.
I want the gift of time. I want time to spend with my husband and with my family. I want time to spend with my good, loyal and patient friends. I want time to pursue hobbies and do things that I like to do. I want time to enjoy so many more experiences. At this stage of my life, this would be the best gift.
So, what's your answer? What do you want for Christmas?
And remember these words. "He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree."