Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Gifts

So today as I sit and think about how Christmas is in two days and think about what I might be forgetting or what I need to get, it reminded me of my childhood. I thought about a few things that you might want to think about yourself.

Do your memories of your childhood holidays involve a physical gift that was given to you? I have a few but for the most part my memories have nothing to do with the physical gifts but more the memories of the time spent together with family. Aren't those the real gifts?

Here are a few of my memories. I remember my Dad making waffles for us every Christmas. We had to eat before we could open presents and my Dad would make us homemade waffles. At the time you wondered why you would eat first and open presents second but now it has become a a holiday tradition. My daughter asked me today, is Grandpa going to make us waffles for Christmas? What would we do without those this year?

If you look back through the photo albums you will see me and my two sisters each holding up a wrapped gift and then it opened. That is another thing I remember. Seeing what funny outfits we were wearing first thing in the morning and how our hair happened to be that morning after waking up. I won't be able to spend Christmas with all of my sisters this year but I at least have the memories and pictures of those days.

I remember driving to our family Christmas party and the applesauce that my Dad made spilling in the car on the way there. Not funny at the time but now you can think about it and laugh. I can also remember the year I wanted the game Clue for Christmas and got 3 of them. How lucky was I? Well, I remember getting to play it at the family Christmas party with my Uncle Ed, who has now passed away and can't share the holidays with us anymore. I don't have that Clue game anymore but the memories of that day will be in my mind forever.

So this year while we are all worried about getting gifts for people and spending money that we don't have, stop and think about the things that really matter. Sometimes it isn't about how big of a gift that you buy but about how big of an impact you can have on the person and their future. Why not do something special for someone this year that they will remember forever?

The kids and I did our gratitude boxes this year. While they weren't too excited about doing it, I am surprised about the responses on the cards that they wrote to each other. It made me so happy that they could think of so many nice things to say to each other! That is something that they will have forever and can look back one day and think about each other and smile.

So this year I am going to focus on trying to give my children good memories instead of worrying about if I bought them enough gifts. I want to make sure that what I give them lasts forever instead of just for the moment. How about giving someone you love a memory that will last forever?

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