thanks for the memories
How many piles of Christmas debris have we all waded through each year, with little memory of the contents of the boxes, wrappings and expense of it all?
I am one of those people that are excited by the prospect of Christmas shopping. Not excited by the cost, mind you. Rather I am excited by the idea of finding that truly excellent gift that the receiver will love. The gift of giving. The thought that counts.
I had two Christmas gift role models – my grandmothers. The first was renowned for her excellent choices. Frugal and wise, she always seemed to pick exactly the right thing. I asked her once how she did it, and she simply replied, ‘I spend some time thinking about each one of you, and what you enjoy and like. Then I decide.’ I still have, and treasure, her Christmas gifts.
My other grandmother was equally loved for her truly appalling gift choices. A child of the depression, she was extremely frugal. ‘That’s not a saving’ was her quintessential life quote. She was also an extreme recycler long before it became a lifestyle choice. Her Christmas cards used to be one-sided with the picture only, as she would cut her old cards in half from the previous year’s sender and reuse them. My friends used to call after Christmas to find out what unusual gift I had received. The all-time classic was a single plain tea towel, a white plastic potato peeler, and three pieces of chocolate. The chocolates are of particular note as they were three from a box of Cadbury Roses, and upon unwrapping the milk chocolate had turned white and crumbly with age. Indeed, they too had been recycled. But the gift was a thoughtful one. Practical with a tiny bit of recycled guilty pleasure.
How many piles of Christmas debris have we all waded through each year, with little memory of the contents of the boxes, wrappings and expense of it all? My two children gave me different answers to my question, what do you want for Christmas this year? The eldest boy, currently experiencing his charming early teens, replied, ‘Nothing mum. I’ve got everything I need or want. So I’m good’. My youngest boy, at the end of his childhood years at 9, said, ‘Actually mum, don’t buy me a thing. I’d rather have a memory. Let’s do something fun’.
So with this mind, I’m off to brave my Christmas shopping. Somewhere in between a plastic potato peeler and a memory I’ll find that sweet spot. After all, it is indeed the thought that counts!