As a mother I feel intense pressure to dazzle my daughter with a hundred candy-colored gifts beneath the Christmas tree, and to prove my devotion to my family by showering them with expensive hand-selected gifts. Despite all pressures and temptations, this year, I will not.
I will not be buying any Christmas gifts this year. I may buy supplies for making Christmas gifts, but I will not be approaching Christmas in the way I am usually so tempted to do. In years past, I have run up beyond-my-means-bills trying to prove to my sisters/mother/husband that my love for them is real and deep —Tom Ford or genuine leather or iPad deep. None of those things can express my love for them because love is more complex than 16 GB of ram.
Here is what scares me: feeling embarrassment should I receive a gift and not have an “adequate” one to hand back.
Here’s why that’s unimportant: Gifting isn’t a competition. I trust that should anyone give a gift to me, it isn’t to get one of equal or greater value handed back to them.
So I am going to sew some small personal treasures for my daughter, like a midnight blue satin dress with stars and the hand-felted animals she loves.
I will write well-wishes in my favorite books and send them off to friends. I’m going tape in an envelope pocket for the recipient to add personal notes, a cool practice Sally discovered in a second-hand kids book…
While crafting, I will NOT run myself ragged just to have a gift in hand, especially if it means the gift will only come out disappointing and take up unnecessary space. I’ll wait until I get it done.
The holidays are for saying I love you. Even a simple back rub or baked treat can do that.