Our family has come a long way in simplifying Christmas, for which I am very thankful. All the adults are responsible for only one person’s Christmas gift, plus his/her stocking and there’s a very reasonable limit to how much we can spend. Seems simple enough, right?
Well, I kinda’ blew it….but I’m secretly kinda’ glad that I blew it. Let me explain.
Ask anyone in our family – I’m difficult to buy for because I don’t want anything. Well, that’s not completely true but I want less “stuff”– not more. For the past couple of years, it’s been a real priority for me to simplify my life so I’ve cleaned out, gotten rid of, scaled down and happily gone without. My motivating motto has been, “if something comes into the house, something goes out” (including any adult children who want to live at home again) and I’ve stuck to it.
So, when the time came for names to be drawn this year, I decided to be ready with a creative answer. As much as I was tempted to say “nothing” – why don’t you buy some goats from the World Vision magazine on behalf of me?, I knew that wouldn’t go over well because our family loves seeing presents under the tree.
Then…one day, I saw this beautiful, hand carved, wooden bowl sitting on a dusty shelf at Aunt B’s Cabin – a tiny store, hiding on the roadside that Chris and I happened to stumble on one sunny Sunday afternoon. I knew the bowl was perfect and I could picture it sitting centre stage, on our big wooden kitchen table.
But I went overboard. Not only did I tell my present giver that I would like this bowl but I proceeded to buy it for him, for me, without his permission. Pretty bad, huh? Let me just say that when I informed him of my actions, he was not impressed. He gently and respectfully reminded me that the whole thing didn’t sit well with him because it totally went against his idea of the spirit of giving.
I felt badly, apologized to him and offered to “start again” by letting him surprise me with something else. After a long phone discussion, we both decided that I would keep the present this year but he graciously suggested that I not do it this way again.
I’m not proud of myself….but I’m very happy with my present. I got what I wanted and every time I walk by it, I smile.
I know there’s something “not quite right” about it all but I don’t want to get too analytical about it – save that for next Christmas name drawing.