Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Best Gift(s) I've Given

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Well, after several hours of Christmas carols ringing through the house, I think I've caught the Christmas spirit.  Too bad I don't have my Christmas shopping done.  Actually my shopping pretty light this year and this has everything to do with the best gifts I can give to my children.  Growing up, my family didn't have a lot for our Christmases, so on some level, as a mom I've thought that the quantity of gifts I give my children is perhaps as important as the quality.  And then like most moms, I'm picking up or stepping on those precious Christmas gifts the rest of the year (while grumbling--lets not forget the grumbling!).  One of my kids doesn't even open some of her presents until six months later--that's how committed she is to her Christmas stuff.  (more grumbling)

So the hub and I are of the same mind that we have to dial things down and emphasize experience over material objects.  Have you ever sat around with your family and discussed times spent together?  My girls LOVE to do that.  Often those are the bed time stories the hub tells them.  They love to start dinner conversations with "Remember when  . . " and those discussions dissolve into laughter when we relive the special irony of that memory.

We are committed to giving those kinds of gifts to our children now.  So, in two days, sort of against my will, we're traveling to the mainland for our Christmas holidays.  The homebody is me just wants to sit at home and relax.  The mom who has declared war on stuff just for the sake of having stuff is ready to go and have adventures with my family.  What memories will we make?  Well, some will have to do with family snowboarding lessons (and me falling down a lot).  A few will have us jumping in and out of outdoor mineral hot pools in the middle of snow country.  Lots are surrounded by extended family.

There won't be a ton of gifts.  The ones there will be those reflecting the relationship between the giver and the receiver.  For example, Second Born talked for years about wanting a robe even though we live in Hawai'i where robes are optional night-time wear.  So last year when I gave her a robe, that gift outshined all of the rest and she has taken that robe to bed every night since--sometimes holding it like a stuffed animal because it was too hot to wear it.  The fleece of that robe is worn in spots and its looking pretty ghetto these days but that gift was very much worth giving because it showed her I was listening to her.  She has started hinting that a new robe is in order this year and will be something I get for her because the last one was so precious.  Those are the kinds of gifts I aspire to give my children--the best gifts I can give them.  What gifts will you give this year?

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