When I was a kid, Christmas was mostly about the presents. It was even better that for many years I didn’t have to give anyone gifts – except for the “gifts” that we handcrafted during December at school (you know the ones; the lop-sided mug we made out of clay for example, painted in gaudy colours and one that would never be used as a drinking utensil because it’s very possible that the drinker will become sick so instead it’s used as a pen or pencil holder for a while.) The ones that came with handmade Christmas Cards that showed our parents that we were still learning to write and draw (and, in some cases, to use glue) but that we already knew how much we loved them. Yep, for many years, Christmas was a cakewalk for me.
Nowadays, things are a little different.
The Christmas Season is no longer as much about the presents as it is about the generosity of spirit and the sharing of time, fortune and compassion – at least, that’s what it is for me. I do enjoy giving gifts though. I always have and I always will. To me, giving someone a gift is a way of showing them that they are important to me. I try to give presents that remind the recipient that I am still paying attention to their lives even if we haven’t been as close lately as we have in the past, or if we’ve been, say, geographically separated for about a year.
Personally, I don’t mind not getting presents at Christmas. I don’t have an awfully materialistic side so I think I’m pretty easy to buy for. Movies are perhaps my biggest interest if we’re going for tangible items so DVDs and cinema gift vouchers are always winners with me, although lately I’ve felt a desire to read more books as well – and I’d like to read a variety so I’m open to new authors and genres. But I digress… In our family, we have a couple of approaches when it comes to the giving of gifts. Some years we agree amongst ourselves who will buy presents for whom and on others we drop our names into a hat and Chance will decide how things will work out. And on other years we give in to the madness and put our efforts into obtaining gifts for everyone else – which is exactly what has happened this year.
So over the past couple of weeks I’ve searched high and low, racked my brain and reminisced about visits and conversations in addition to tapping into my existing knowledge in the hopes of procuring gifts for each member of my family that they will enjoy. My Mum has been fairly easy to buy for. My Dad (a wonderful man who only ever wants to see his family at Christmas – and failing that would like a yacht, sports car, overseas holiday or something along those lines (and I would buy them all for him if I could!)) has been a little more difficult.
Wolf Brother and his partner are usually straight-forward as well, similarly with my brother-in-law. Of course, it’s also incredibly easy to find gifts for my three fresh breaths. For some reason though, I usually have the most difficult time finding gifts for my sister. Even though I talk to her as often as I can, she is a woman who is always more concerned about everyone else before herself so it’s difficult for me to find out what kinds of things she’d like for Christmas!
But I think I have everything covered now, so I will be packing for my trip this Saturday, safe in the knowledge that I have something for each of my nine family members that they will enjoy.
On the ninth day of Christmas, the Season gave to me…
Nine gifts for wrapping
Eight PM Carols
Seven tonnes of tucker
Six AM wake-up
Five days off
Four airborne hours
Three fresh breaths
Two swimming pools
and a trifle made for the Family