This year I proposed to my husband and kids that we have a “homemade” Christmas. Between the four of us, the only gifts we could exchange were ones that are made by us using materials from our house or yard. The prevailing rule is that no one can spend any money on any part of the present.
Much to my delight, everyone agreed!
I’ve crafted fabulous gift ideas for Hubby, Abby and Henry. I’ve yet to start making/writing/photographing any of them.
The thing that surprises me about my homemade proclamation is how it’s affected me--in a fairly profound way. I’m going through retail withdrawal. I’m amazed that I’m feeling slightly empty thinking about a Christmas morning without any store-bought glitz under the tree. I find myself willing deliveries from the UPS man, with visions of retail wonders inside for ME. I'm both shocked and embarrassed by my reaction.
Every time I see an Old Navy TV commercial, I want to sprint to the store to stock up on $10 fleece for the whole family. While in Target, I suddenly find myself browsing the women’s pajamas that I could buy for the kids to give to me.
Why? Does anyone in my family really need a fourth fleece? Has society programmed me, a very willing participant, to buy Christmas? Am I just a retail whore? (Husband—please remember that these are rhetorical questions.)
My husband and I want to impart the true meaning of the holiday season to our children. We feel that by putting energy into others and by taking time to make thoughtful gifts, we will help them learn this lesson. As Dr. Seuss so wisely inspires in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, "What if Christmas...doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
A good friend of mine says that we teach that which we need to learn.
I have a very, very wise friend.