For the past month or so, it really was all about presents everywhere we looked – not only here on The Daily Dose, but also in our minds, while talking to friends, or trying to figure out what we’ll be getting for Christmas ourselves and what to give in return. So we figured – let’s have a little chat about it – heart to heart! Is receiving presents really that important ? Should we possibly step back a bit from the whole gifting hysteria and try to remember what Christmas is really all about?
To us, Christmas should be a time to calm down, prepare and collect yourself for the next year, reminisce about what the past year has brought you and, most importantly, it is about being thankful for what you have. That can be your family, whom Christmas time is best spent with, your friends, your boyfriend or girlfriend or simply that you’re healthy and alive. But that’s actually something that is forgotten quite often these days, and receiving as many presents as possible sadly seems to be the only priority for many people.
Now, don’t get us wrong – we love receiving pretty presents ourselves, but it’s not the value that’s important; it’s the thought behind the gift. It shows you really know a person and that you care about him or her, that you’re paying attention to what they are saying and that you’re understanding of their needs and wishes. A perfect gift can be everything from a shy kiss underneath a mistletoe to a diamond ring or a new book, and really depends on the person you’re giving it to! The core meaning of both Christmas and giving presents is joy – it is about bringing joy to people by showing them you care, and that can be done with or without a gift.
So, this is our personal opinion about giving and receiving gifts:
To Kathi, the joy of Christmas lies in the act of making her closest friends and family happy – she always thinks carefully about what to give to her beloved ones and may also overdo it sometimes in terms of value and quantity of the presents she’s buying. But hey, what better way is there to spend your money than on presents for the people you love? When it comes to her and her boyfriend, they have agreed on a spending limit (which she failed to stick to this year…), because it would maybe go crazy without it – presents were getting bigger and bigger each year, and so were the expectations, so the limit is keeping everything in a more modest spending range now. To her, it’s much more exciting to see other people unwrapping the presents that she has put so much thought into, rather than getting a big present herself.
Vicky has a very similar “gifting behavior” – she loves to spend all year listing to the wishes of her friends and family and then giving them exactly what they needed without them even knowing they did. And she also loves the whole process of finding “the perfect” present for a person. In Vicky’s family, birthdays and Christmas are a pretty big deal and have always been celebrated fairly “elaborate”, also involving lots of presents! And when you grow up connecting tons of happy memories and family time or special occasions to presents, you automatically start to love everything that has to do with presents – which is probably the reason why giving presents is so much fun for her. Now, of course Vicky also writes a pretty wishlist every year, but actually, surprises are her favorite! Vicky is strictly against opening presents earlier (this also goes for birthday) and even as a child she never looked for the presents in her parents closet or the garage. That is because to Vicky, giving and receiving gifts is all about the surprise of not knowing what’s inside and trying your best to understand the other person and to show them some appreciation by giving the gift some thought.
What we both have in common is that we don’t live with our families anymore, so as we get older, going home for Christmas and spending time with them is the best gift we could wish for and we’ve learned to appreciate that time spent together much more than materialistic things. We always enjoy our time at home so much and realize how lucky we are to have those great people surrounding us – it really shouldn’t take more to make anyone happy! You can receive a hundred gifts, but if you have no one to share your joy with, they are all worthless in the end.
What is your take on the whole Christmas presents issue? Do you give a lot to your family? Is it important to you to get many presents? What would you really be happy to get this Christmas? We’re curious – let’s talk about it in the comment section below!