Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Economical Holiday Grins and Giggles

When I asked my daughter what she wanted for Christmas this year, she told me there was nothing that she wanted. Later I overheard her saying to her brother that she was excited to go to Grandma’s house for Christmas, not for the presents, but to spend time with family.

Boy, did those two comments warm my heart. However, I know when present unwrapping time comes she’ll want to tear open presents just as much as the next person.

Looking back on my own childhood, yes, I do remember getting a bike one year, which I was very pleased to receive. However, the presents that I remember most are ones that didn’t cost a lot of money. They were creatively wrapped and the three that I remember best of all were edible.

First, aware that I was a Violet Beauregarde of a gum chewer, my uncle gave me my very own jumbo-sized box of gumballs. I remember wondering what could be inside the wrapped box he had given me, and being delighted when I uncovered my whopping supply of chewing gum.

Another year, I remember a friend of the family placing a wrapped mandarin orange in my stocking. Not only was I excited that he had brought me a gift, but his present tickled my funny bone as well.

Finally, I remember my grandmother giving me my very own box of neatly packaged handmade cookies. What could be better than a personal stash of favorite cookies sitting in a pretty handmade box?

Looking past the edible gifts while staying focused on dear Grandma, I recall that she was also an expert at creating captivatingly wrapped packages. Her shopping bags usually contained an assortment of individually wrapped, inexpensive, but amusing toys and trinkets she had collected over the year.

So this year as I contemplate what to give my children, I remind myself that the spirit of Christmas is not about how big or expensive the gifts I give are (even though advertising is pushing to convince me otherwise). Christmas giving is about the love and thought put behind the gifts, no matter how small that gift is or how much money it cost.

I admit it does help that my daughter has an attitude of gratitude instead of a case of the gimmies. It is her attitude that will help give me the courage to wrap an orange, a gigantic box of chewing gum, or a homemade box of cookies.

It is my hope that those inexpensive, yet significant gifts will create smiling memories to look back on for a lifetime.
Read more by author, Linda Hatton, at Suite101, the whatnot shop, and Deliberate Creations.

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