With most things in life, I am not a procrastinator. I like to be prepared for things, and I try not to put things off. However, there is one thing in my life that I always end up doing at the last minute, and that’s getting and making gifts.
Every year, I tell myself that I will find presents weeks before they’re needed, and I won’t look last minute. The problem is, I always forget to do this. I get caught up in what’s going on in my life, and I always think that I’ll have more time. I keep giving myself this excuse until the time comes when I suddenly find that I don’t have any more, and it becomes a scramble to find the right gift in a few days.
Unfortunately, this same thing happened this year before Christmas. I knew that the holiday was coming up, and I should be thinking about what I was going to get my family, but with the craziness of finals coming up in school, I didn’t make presents my priority. And then, about a week ago, I realized that I was quickly running out of time to find presents for my family.
Then began the mad-dash to think of good gift ideas for my siblings and family. After brainstorming for a while, I was beginning to plan only to get them whatever I could get my hands on, if only so that I would be giving them gifts. I became so worried about making sure that I had presents to give them that I forgot how important it is to have the right reasons for giving gifts.
Christmas has a way of turning a family holiday into a consumer nightmare. It becomes about getting good deals on presents, finding as many presents for others as possible, and less about being in each other’s company and finding things that will truly make each other happy. I’ll admit that I fell victim to this way of thinking, and rather than getting presents because I wanted to make my family happy, I was getting them because I knew that I would feel horrible if I ended up getting them nothing.
However, once I started to look for gifts for my family, I began thinking of really genuine gifts that my family might enjoy. I started to think about how much my little brother would love playing with a certain toy if I got it for him and my older sister would appreciate something sentimental. Christmas became less about simply purchasing stuff for my family because that’s what I was supposed to do, and more about getting well-thought-out gifts that would mean a lot to them.
Christmas is a time for family. It is a time to remind each other that as much as we might aggravate each other, we will always be there for each other. We show our families how much we appreciate them and what they do for us, and this is done through well-meant gifts that have more to do with relationships than money. This Christmas, appreciate family and everything that they do, and remember to think not about the gift, but the person you are giving it to. See you next week!
“Reprinted from Hagel Publications, Inc. dba as Courier Newspapers”