…is important to me, I came to understand last year.
For Christmas with the family (in law) the idea was that we had to buy our gifts ourselves, wrap and/or pack them ourselves, put them under the tree ourselves so others could pick it up and give it back…wow, what a surprise?!
I have big problems with this concept. I would say for obvious reasons. For me, Christmas is about sharing and caring. Not necessarily with presents, but just being together and have a good time. And if there are presents, it is nice to see what others think of when they think of you. A present often says more about the buyer than the receiver, or at least, how others see you. And that is half the fun. Also, getting presents from others says the other person took some time for you, how ever precious that time may be.
So, what does it say about my sharing/caring ideal, when you have to buy your own things? My time is too valuable? I don’t know you? In my honest opinion a very easy way out and a lack of interest.
In came my idea. Because I didn’t want to buy something new for myself, to give myself, I bought a box of Christmas balls and some permanent markers. On one of the balls I wrote (in keywords) the things I had given myself the past year. Things without a price tag. Here is my list:
– my trip to Austria,
– my new founded love for waterfalls,
– the fact I celebrated my birthday,
– peanut butter for the birds in the backyard,
– making some friendships stronger,
– participation in new work projects,
– discovering new music,
– Tessi’s new toy “Tribble“,
– more time to read,
– less (work related) irritation.
After showing my ball and reading and explaining what I wrote down, I invited the others to do the same. They did and had a good time doing it, I think. What we got out of it was more understanding about each other, what drove, inspired us and what we were thankful for during the past year. They even listened to each other. I think a good outcome for a family that normally drives on results and achievements and has a hard time listening to and understanding each other.
I have to say, I was a bit chuffed with myself. The one that often gets snowed under by all the bravura and bombastic behavior the family displays, had gotten her say, while having a good time with the whole family, a rarity. It was too good to be true!…And after a few weeks, it turned out it really was. While my point was to focus on the things we already have, the things that make us happy, the ‘simple’ things in life, at least by one family member this whole endeavor was misunderstood. He thought I put my points of improvements and targets on the ball. Well, no…..! -sigh- I let it go though, not by choice, but by the fact he didn’t listen to me trying to explain what my original intention was.
So in all a interesting experiment. I learned a lot, thank you!
P.S. I might have started a new Christmas tradition though, we will know in December.