The Most Wonderful Time

It’s a day early, but I felt the need to write a Christmas post. The past few years, I have been in a unique position. James and I don’t see relatives for the holidays. We don’t have children of our own. One or both of us has had to work on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. So our holidays have mostly been pretty low key. While everyone around us is rushing to buy, buy, buy for all their loved ones, friends, family, teachers, pets, and everyone else on their double-checked lists, we tend to focus on the two of us. We miss our families, true, but we don’t have the same pressure as far as the gifts go because we don’t celebrate Christmas with them until January.

This year, we are focusing so much on each other that we have decided not to buy anything. Usually we buy one or two things. We have never been excessive, just because we have always had limited funds available to do so. But this year, when we realized (not having any reason to get caught up in all the rampant consumerism that’s been going on since Halloween) that we had waited until the last minute again to do any shopping whatsoever, we discussed the option of nothing. And we agreed that it’s much better this way. At least it is for us.

We show each other appreciation, love, and respect all year long. If there is something that one or the other of us wants or needs, we figure out how to get it then and there. And really, a gift is often so much more meaningful when it’s neither expected nor required.

Both James and I have always said, when the other asks, “What do you want for Christmas/Birthday/Valentine’s/Arbor Day,” we have said, and meant, “I already have it… you.” Go ahead and groan, we often do. But the thing is that it is meant. We already have so many things that we need in addition to a lot of what we could ever want. Presents are nice, but spending time together is more in line with the spirit of things to me, and I love that we are in agreement.

And as I look toward the future, I like to think that we’ll keep these simple pleasures in mind. That when we have kids, they will appreciate the small things. I hope to teach that giving is more important than receiving, and that no matter what gifts come and go from their hands, the best part is showing the same love and generosity all year round. Christmas is a good day for coming together and really focusing on that for a moment, but it should be part of every day and every action throughout our lives.

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