Sunday, December 18, 2011
'Holiday Disconnect'! I'm giving a name to this disorder that has been plaguing me for the last several years. The excitement of finding the perfect gift eludes me. In part, I think this comes from too many years of giving something that I thought was really special, only to be asked…”What is it?” or “What do I do with it?” Or, the dreaded…”Can I return this?” I’m notorious for giving ‘antique’ items. Items that I think are very special things that should be preserved and treasured. Some of them were even actually useful. For several years I’ve called off Christmas! I’m somewhat ashamed of myself, but apparently not enough to force myself to participate in the chaos of buying things retailers tell us we should buy. Growing up, Christmas was a chance to generously give people the things you thought they needed, small things that would somehow improve their lives or just simple things that they might enjoy or bring a smile to the faces of loved ones. We always expected new socks, pajamas and everyday things we needed. It wasn’t very often that we received simply frivolous gifts. Even our stockings (which were usually our parents socks) were filled with fruit, nuts and maybe a few pieces of candy. Never toys in stockings! Years ago, even wrapping gifts gave me such joy! I must confess, I have wrapped some pretty fancy gifts in my time! The folded edges, double sided tape and mounds of hand curled ribbons or raffia with greenery from the yard…it all gave me a sense that I was doing something more special to be added to the sentiment of me giving a gift and letting the recipient know that I took extra care to specially wrap their gift with the sentiment of the season. My mom spoiled me! She was the absolute BEST gift receiver, ever! I could have taken dog poop out of the yard, put it in a brown lunch bag and given it to her! Her response would have been, “How did you know I needed that?” There is not only an art to giving a gift, but the great art of ‘gift receiving’ is so very important. My gift to all of you is this…Hone your ‘gift receiving’ skills!