It is a week before Christmas and the scramble is on to find the perfect gifts for our loved ones as many of us have put off our Christmas shopping until now.
What is the perfect gift? Is it something the person wouldn’t buy for themselves? Is it something the recipient said they want, but haven’t bought yet? Is it something you believe would be great for this special someone for any number of reasons? Or for those picky teenagers, is it simply a gift card so they can buy what they want? It is something we all struggle with, not just at Christmas, but for every occasion that social norms require the giving of a present.
To me, Christmas was about the fond memories of the time I spent with my family playing cards, eating way too much, and simply being together. Dad would be mixing drinks in the kitchen, a large gathering of extended family laughing and joking around the dining room table while some were playing cards, and kids racing around the house with their shoes off so they could slide down the hallways in their stocking feet as they chased one another. When it came to the gifts, there are a few Christmases where I can tell you about a particular present or two, like the Cabbage Patch Kid and Barbie Dream House I was fortunate enough to receive in the 3rd grade, but so many others passed by without a significant imprint in my mind. Did the gifts given mean any less? No, they were always greatly appreciated, but it was more about the feeling of the entire Christmas experience than what I actually received.
I didn’t realize it then, but as I look back now, I know every present was an indication someone had thought of me, conveying their love and affection for me. As I have gotten older and have moved physically farther away from my extended family, the perfect gift isn’t something covered in pretty paper and bows. It is something I can wrap myself in every day of the year — knowing that I have a tremendous circle of people in my life who shower me with their love, friendship, and support bringing so much joy and happiness to my life and hoping I can offer a fraction of what they have given to me.
“Presents don’t really mean much to me. I don’t want to sound mawkish, but – it was the realization that I have a great many people in my life who really love me, and who I really love.”
~ Gabriel Byrne ~
So as you continue your search for the perfect present for that person in your life, I hope you take a moment to stop stressing about finding it and know that who you are and what you contribute to the person’s life means more. Something bought at the store, as terrific as the present might be or what it might cost, will not bring the value you bring into that person’s life.
“We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. But there is a difference between presents and gifts. The true gifts may be part of ourselves – giving of the riches of the heart and mind – and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth than presents bought at the store.”
~ James E. Faust ~
Please know you are my perfect gift; not just at Christmas, but every day of the year. Far and wide, wherever you may be, I thank you for sharing the riches of your heart and mind to enrich my life more than words could ever convey.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!