Monday, December 10, 2012

Grinchy McScrooge...or am I?

 I always find myself in a sort of melancholy state this time of year.  Not completely humbugged, but sort of wishing I could just wake up on January 2 with the holidays behind me.  I realize this does not jive with many mothers who really seem to enjoy the wonder in their children’s eyes and the magic of their own cookie baking, tree trimming and Elf on the Shelf hiding.  The “carpe eggnog” is lost on melately. 

I'm okay with a "humbug" that makes me laugh.
We're limited in how much we can get for gifts this year so  I attempted to talk my family into "experiential" gifts this year, but somehow "let's plan a camping trip" did not entice the 11-year-old like the signed poster of Katniss from the Hunger Games.  The musical Cookie Monster doll and the Avengers action figures will not be replaced by a road trip down the Oregon Coast.  Pity, really.

So I stand in department stores, drugstores, grocery stores...really anywhere that's playing Bing Crosby's Oh Holy Night over the speakers while shoppers are picking up gifts for second cousins, Reindeer pooping candy, snowman cookie cutters and any myriad of holiday fun...and I can feel a swell of ick.  My eyes burn as I see others with their shopping bags filled up with whatever items take the shape of something exciting and gifty.  I miss the days of getting people everything they wanted and filling the house with goodies and a few fancy new decorations.  We did have that luxury at one point.  And frankly the holidays are more fun knowing that we can give gifts AND pay our bills.  Am I really this shallow?

I started to write more here about "yes, I am this shallow and isn't it hard to be struggling around the holidays, etc etc."  But I walked away from my blog for a little while today and was blessed to settle myself down, see what is in front of me and know that where I am right now is perfect.  I often read Daily Word which gives inspirational messages for each day of the year.  One recent message was titled Creativity.  In brief, it said to look in different places to explore creativity.  It resonated with me but I wasn't sure why.  I think maybe I'm figuring  that out.  Surveying the Christmas gifts we're giving this year, they're all pretty damn cool because I had to put more thought into meaningful gifts.  I had artist friends help me out because I decided to ask.  I found inexpensive, beautiful items because I looked in strange places. Writing, photos, and memories make some sweet gifts.   I found other ways to give when I volunteered to write features for the Tent City that's gone up in our neighborhood and by cooking for some neighbors in need. 

It may seem that this post has taken a turn from holiday curmudgeon to holiday horn tooter.  It's really just to make the point that the giving really IS what it's all about, but the giving doesn't need to come from wallets full of dough.  The opportunity to be creative in our giving is in front of us.  If we take these opportunities, the giving AND receiving is that much more meaningful.   Yes...Cookie Monster, Avenger action figures and even the signed Katniss poster will be waiting under the tree on Christmas morning.  I'm thinking the rest of the day will be filled with a few walks, perhaps a beach trip to make a sand snowman, and lots of opportunities for family photos.  Maybe these photos of our happy family will be Christmas gifts next year.


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