As we are in the middle of the holiday season, I’ve been thinking, and stressing, quite a bit about giving and receiving gifts. This seems to be the central part of this time of year. Even though that’s not what these holidays were meant to be about, it’s most people’s favorite, or maybe least favorite, part.
As a kid, presents were the best part of the season. My brother and I used to plan to wake up early, I’m talking like 4 am, to sneak down stairs and shake all of our presents, and dig through our stockings. We couldn’t wait. We hid walkie-talkies under our pillows so we could communicate after our parents had tucked us in. We’d planned the quietest route passed our parents’ bedroom so the squeaky floor wouldn’t wake them up. When we got to the piles of presents under the tree, we were sure to remember how each present was placed so we could put them back the same Tetris-like way our Dad had. We’d dig through our stockings and eat the candy we knew Dad would try to steal later on. And then, giving ourselves away, we’d pass out on the couch until 10 am.
I think it’s safe to say that for a kid, getting presents is definitely what the season is all about. But when you get older, you have to start giving other people presents too. I used to hate having to shop for my parents. Mom was easy, just find a nice candle or some jewelry. But what do you buy Dad? Tools? Doesn’t he have three of every tool ever made? More socks? More pajama pants? Another coffee cup? It was hard. It still is.
But once you’ve spent three days on Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy, and finally found everyone the perfect gift, all the stress seems worth it.
I’ve realized this year, that I’m more excited to give everyone else their gifts, than I am to get any of my own. And at ten years old, I never thought I would say that.
But I’m even more excited to have the family together, in the same room, even if it’s only for a few hours.
I think that’s what this season is really about. I just wish that there was more emphasis on family when it comes to TV commercials and other advertisements. I understand that stores want to make money off of people trying to find the perfect gift for their loved ones, but what if the best gift is just a little extra time together?