I normally enjoy the holiday season. In the past Christmas was a way to flex under-used creative muscles. I will admit that I have never been good at the Christmas tree tradition. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the glow of a light festooned evergreen. It was the loneliness of the project with nobody to enjoy the process. Happily that has changed, but time is still an issue.
I’m not a Black Friday shopper, I don’t get orgasmic thrills from getting a deal. I do look for deals, but it’s not a sport for me. I spend more time trying to figure out what a “practical” gift would be for my family. Toys are nice, but the average person doesn’t need a reason to “treat” themselves. I try to think of gifts that a person wouldn’t give themselves.
For example my sister and I saw Wicked live on stage last year. I think that was my finest moment in gift giving. Well… maybe it was second to the look on Mom’s face when I remembered she liked that local artist and I bought a print for her on Mother’s Day. It’s great when parents realize you can be thoughtful.
I’ve always held to that dollar amount has nothing to do with the level of affection. I try to be generous during this season, but I can’t justify spending the rent payment on a child who will barely remember the year. Shopping for kids is fun. But stores have made Christmas too high tech. A young child enjoys a gift almost as much as they do the bubble wrap around it. I’m not saying going big for Christmas is bad. Just going big for the sake of going big is pointless.
My big gift this year is Beauty & the Beast live on stage. Bigger crowd this year (simply because I haven’t seen these people more than once this year and it would be a great memory.) I always feel I offer my best gifts when an experience is tied to it. I like giving theater tickets. I like giving books (to readers… non-readers can’t appreciate the thought that goes into a literary gift.) I like giving flowers. Why? Because it engages the senses. Perhaps that makes me a little of a sensualist. Although, I think there is a connection that comes with this kind of gift, it’s memory making.
In past years when I couldn’t afford something like theater tickets, I have relied on my creativity. I have been known to write and frame poetry for people. The year I worked at a radio station; I researched the year everyone on my list was 16 years old. I then compiled cds of the greatest hits of the year. My step-mother loved it! I really do try to put thought into my gifts. I guess I’m just addicted to that over joyed warmth in the recipient’s eyes.
What about you? Are you a go-big gift giver? Or do you like to keep it practical? What about intangible gifts? Does any one have any thoughts on their own gift giving style? You may find it reveals a lot about you.