Every year my husband and I set a budget for spending on Christmas gifts and we try to stick to it. Throughout the year we’re thinking about what we can give each other and our family members that is both thoughtful and budget friendly. We keep notes on our phones and wish lists on Amazon for inspiration.
We have one child. He’s on the spoiled side, but he is loved, if anything. Our discussions about budgets and gifts sound like this:
“Let’s not overdo it this year with the kid gifts, ok? He has so much stuff already.”
“Yeah, last year was overboard. We need to focus more on the time with family, visit your grandma, go see my Pawpaw… not go crazy with Christmas gifts. You know, you don’t have to get me anything for Christmas.”
“I know, and stop saying that. I’m going to give you something for Christmas.”
“Seriously, you don’t have to, whatever you were going to spend on a gift to me, save it and spend it on our son.”
“Didn’t we just start this conversation about how we weren’t going to overdo it with the kid?”
Then somehow every year it looks like Toys R Us threw up in our living room. Everything is a piled-up mess with wrapping paper remnants, shredded bows and packaging shrapnel that could double as a prison shank.
I yearn for a less commercialized holiday, when the frenzy of Christmas decorating didn’t start before Halloween. Maybe it’s wistful to think that a genuine gift is a smoked ham from the fatted hog or a special bottle of wine that everyone gets to taste.
The art to truly giving a significant gift is not about how much it cost, but how well it captures the essence of the recipient. Sometimes this requires a lot of thought or not much at all. Some people in your life are hard to fin
d gifts for no matter the amount of meditation or money.
It’s about giving gifts with the most meaning, not the most expensive.
My young son is a better gift giver than I am and that’s embarrassing on Christmas morning. But he provid
es an example of what great gift giving is.
I am an avid gardener and plan continuously for each growing season.
My birthday is in February and on the cusp of spring planting. This year my son knew exactly what he wanted to give me and stated it clearly to his daddy that he wanted to give me “magic beans.”
At first my husband didn’t understand, thinking it was an absurd idea inspired from a Jack and the Beanstalk movie. But our son persisted, telling him it was easy to find at Walmart. So off they went … and there they were on the seed rack, a package of “magic beans” in an envelope containing 14 grams of hybrid green beans.
The perfect gift cost $1.28. When my son gave me the “magic beans” my soul smiled with the deepest appreciation because his gift was full of meaning.
His honest gift is one of my most treasured because it was a transaction of the heart, not the bank account.