I love Christmas, but the gift-giving thing is hard to reconcile in my mind and heart sometimes. NOT that I’m ungrateful for cool stuff (like, say, my new Octave Mandolin a couple years ago, or my digital recorder last year – which by the way got together and gave birth to the album you’ll find linked over there somewhere). but hopefully you know what I mean when I say that the more-stuff mentality gets a little out of hand. and I mean primarily in my own mind and heart. I like cool stuff. I dont think I should though. at least not as much as I do.
over the years we’ve tried to do home-made gifts as we’re able. it started out because we couldnt afford much. not that we can afford a ton now, but I think it’s a bit more special when we make stuff. so all you relations out there: be prepared for mostly non-store-bought stuff. hope you like it :-)
with the kids now, it’s hard to know how to handle stuff. we’re so glad to have family that loves them and us so much they want to shower them with all kinds of goodies. really, a strong and caring family is one of the biggest blessings in our life, and the way we often show that love is through gifts. but what about “it’s better to give than receive”? can a small child really learn this — really internalize it — if all they do is receive? we’re trying to find ways for them to give, but it’s not easy. and I love how pumped they get for “Jesus’ birthday” but how quickly will that be drowned out by their new bikes? (which we just bought for them…don’t tell!). so as you see, I’m a walking contradiction.
but there are cool options out there, like through giving gifts through charities and causes like World Vision and Compassion International. so buy me a duck for Christmas (I’ll send it to a person in need, with the help of World Vision). see also sites like www.rethinkingchristmas.com and www.adventconspiracy.com for good thoughts on these issues.
recently I heard a good song with the following words: “the more I buy, the more I’m bought. and the more I’m bought the less I cost”. so here’s to keeping in real, so to speak. sure, I’ll leave a few books and CDs on my Amazon list, but seriously, buy me a duck or a chicken. I certainly have enough stuff of my own.