Recently on a forum I belong to, a conversation was started about Christmas gifts, and budgets and all that fun stuff. (Understand please, that on this particular forum, a posting about the shade of blue that the sky is today is enough to cause major eruptions of anger and argument.)
The supposition went thusly: You have $10 per person, and a list of people that included children, adults, relatives, friends and a charity.
What would you buy for each person?
(Not surprisingly, a number of posters chose to stand in front of the gift card display at WaWa on Christmas Eve….)
Others began by listing toys—shopping for kids seemed easier to do at that dollar amount.
Edible gifts were good for the adults often enough. Handmade items worked well, too.
And then, another bunch of posters began by saying they’d be ‘calling the adults in the family and cancelling the gift exchange’ so the extra $10 could be rolled into the kids gifts. And their friends, too. No Gifts For You!
That’s not playing by the rules.
Of course, Christmas magic in the eye of a child is a wondrous thing! I’m no Scrooge. I can and have and do appreciate the wonder and happiness when the child sees that SANTA didn’t fail them.
But. How can one teach a child about giving if they are the only ones getting? How can a child learn about appreciation of the small things (that ONE $10 gift from above), if they are treated yearly to a pile of Christmas gifts whose value rivals that of the salary of a person in a third world country?
How can a child, who possibly threw out the orange their mom packed in their lunch last week, begin to IMAGINE that had they lived in another time and place, that that orange could have been their Christmas gift? (btw, NONE of the children of the posters on this forum would EVER throw out food. They are all angel children. Just so you know.)
If you were to say to this child, “Child, we have $10 to buy a gift for each of the people on this list, what should we get?” don’t you think that the child (especially a younger one) would find joy shopping Dollar Tree, and be bouncing up and down with excitement, waiting to watch the grown-ups in their lives open their gifts??
Can you imagine them deciding that Grandpa doesn’t need a gift so that they can spend more money on Grandma?
Children are selfless, until we teach them to be selfish.
Now, an exercise. Could YOU shop for everyone on your Christmas list with $15 per person? (I’m not Scrooge, remember??) Not counting taxes or shipping charges, could you find meaningful, unique and desirable gifts for everyone, using that as your budget?
(To keep things honest, if you spent $12.99 on Johnny, the change goes to charity, not to embellish the gift for Janie….)
Can you do it if you ONLY get to shop at Kroger’s? (Kroger’s is my downfall. I walk through there and $100 jumps out my pocketbook. I begin to think I like to cook. I am fascinated by all of their wondrous international foods. Kroger’s is dangerous.) Well, quilt stores are dangerous, too. But fabric doesn’t go bad.
However, pick your favorite upscale grocery—Wegman’s, Ukrop’s, Harris Teeter. And cross off anything that is perishable and requires freezing or refrigeration—(there goes the easy gift…ice-cream for everyone!) And it doesn’t HAVE to be food.
Could you do it?
PS Thanks everyone, for the well wishes as our two new kitties move into our home. Gandolf? and Roar-y? (Who knows, yet) But they are settling well. Gandolf especially, who has made himself quite at home, and is driving Miss Tatiana to distraction. Roar-y just hides. Pictures….