All I Want For Christmas Is You
by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families
As you know the best gifts in life are free and we received the best gift we could have wished for this year. My daughter gave birth to a dear little boy in October after adopting a gorgeous boy from Korea in 2010 and then having a baby herself in 2011. That makes three little grandboys here in the USA and two big grandboys in New Zealand who we get to see every year when we fly down there.
When we first came to live here in the USA we went through a very difficult financial time because of a crooked immigration attorney. We were so financially stretched that we couldn't buy ourselves gifts for Christmas or even purchase a Christmas tree. Instead, we hung candy canes on a small potted plant and for gifts we made truffles and cookies for ourselves and for our friends. Guess what? Those were some of our best memories. For three years we went without gifts and we didn't care in the least. It wasn't until we took gift-giving out of the equation that we realized how unimportant it was in relation to doing thoughtful things for one another and in just being together.
At church this Wednesday, our speaker told us about the 'truckloads' of presents that kept arriving for their grandson, Jamie. He was the first-born grandson on either side of the family. In the end, the child had so much stuff he didn't really care what was inside each package. He just kept ripping them open, looking at them and then tossing them aside for the next package to be opened.
Surprising as it may seem kids don't want stuff anywhere near as much as they want you. At a time when most of us are under economic stress we need to consider TIME as being a far more valuable gift than the latest and greatest toys on the market. It is a good time to think about others who have far less than we do. Combining our pennies to buy a goat or cow for someone in India would meet an overwhelming need. Creating vouchers for our family members or friends, promising to child care, mow the grass, wash the car, buy groceries, give a massage or take them for coffee are all great ideas that will allow us to stay within our budgets.
Now is the time to reprogram our minds about giving gifts. Talk about it with your families now so they can get used to the idea. Concentrate on giving time, making your own gifts and giving to people you don't know. You won't believe what pleasure it will give your children to see the delight on the faces of the recipients. Reduce your financial costs by giving your time and meaningful self-made gifts. The ultimate giver was Jesus. His was the greatest gift of all.
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