More Meaningful Christmas Gifts

Thoughts on how we can make Christmas gifts not the Christmas expenses

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When Christmas approaches, practically everyone thinks mainly about two things: gifts and expenses. Either they think of the gifts they will give on Christmas Day as expenses or the expenses for the holiday season as some sort of gifts to their loved ones. Rare are those who think that Christmas gifts are the manifestations of the heart’s sharing. Most would deem them simply Yuletide obligations that must be rendered to get them over and done with. That is why we have what we call ‘tinsel Christmas’, where the gaiety and cheermaking are as cheap and bright as the colored tinsel decorations hung almost everywhere.

So often we forget what Christmas really is all about. We think of gifts, not the sharing; we consider what to give, not what the recipient would like to receive; we ponder on how to make merry, not how to make a Christmas with meaning; we think of the form, not the substance of Christmas. It seems we have lost the meaning of Christmas in the commercialism of the season.

But personally, one can do a lot to give a meaningful Christmas without spending a lot of money. Its essence may be summed up in Michael Jackson’s lyrics, “Why don’t you give love…” for love is actually the embodiment of Christmas. To make a more meaningful Christmas, you can do the following.

Visit the old people. Especially those you knew even very remotely, or would know you. They can be mothers of friends, once-neighbors, friends of your mother and father, just about anybody. Go to them once or more, introduce yourself and get him to remember you.

Reminisce about the old times, common friends, notable instances and incidents, anything to get them talking. Some small and inexpensive Christmas gifts or two won’t be amiss, but it is your presence that will matter most, and the memories.

Help the poor. Not just any needy family though. Look for those who are earnestly struggling to better their lives but are constrained by their status or capabilities. Give or lend or help them with what you can according to their needs, money being the last consideration. A few days job for the oldest boy perhaps mowing the garden; some food items that were “excess” in your home and should be eaten for Christmas or something; a steady job for the father…any that can help tide them over with dignity and improve their lives.

Organize the neighborhood children. Sponsor them to visit the zoo together or the fair. Or maybe talk with their parents and together you can organize a small contest, games or competition during Christmas school break. You can even turn it into a neighborhood party where the children can exchange little Christmas gifts while the parents socialize. The bonding can then be made yearly so you create a real community.

Tell your family you love each and all of them, individually. In the end, it is your family that will matter the most. And though they may look the same to you each Yuletide, they are different and always new. The true Christmas gifts for you.

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