I don’t know about you, but it still doesn’t feel like Christmas is so close. So much so, that I just started my Christmas shopping one week before the big day. I hadn’t thought much about what I wanted to get everyone. I just hoped something would jump out at me while I was browsing in the store.
The first few stores I went to offered no help. Eventually I found myself in a kids store with a big sale. As I pulled down some dresses for my little cousins, I began to think about all the “stuff” they already had, and all the more “stuff” they would soon get. Right there, I made a decision. I put the dresses back and walked out of the store. While they might wear the dresses, they won’t remember who it’s from or when they got it (they are 9, 4, and 4).
Buying gifts for those we love is a great way to show that we care. But there is a reason they say “It’s the thought that counts.” Too many people have gotten away from the thought and gesture of a gift, and instead it has become a habit, just something you do. Where is the meaning? It’s not about the size or cost. It is about what that person means to you. So, instead, I decided to give the present of presence. I am giving the parents a night to themselves (with dinner on me) while I take their kids out for some fun. Spending time and doing things with them is so much more important than anything I could buy in the store.