Okay, so I love Christmas. I really really do. The little kids getting excited, the toys in the store, the smell of winter, that chill in the air. Not to mention the christmas songs on the radio, the "magical" tv specials, and that feeling in the air on a cold winter's night when you're cuddled up on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa, there's a Christmas song playing gently in the background, a fire crackling in the fireplace and the Christmas tree glowing brightly in the dark night.
And I wish it would hurry up and get here! I mean, I know I still have shopping to do. I'm a procrastinator. But I don't mind shopping. Just the other day, the heavy-set hispanic clerk at the local dollar store said I had a nice smile (I smile all the time, smiling's my favorite)! How cute is that? I had a little skip in my step the rest of the day from that little self-esteem boost.
But other than a bit of shopping, I'm soooo ready for Christmas to come! I can't stand waiting! The presents are piling up under the tree and it's getting colder and colder outside. We've always had tons and tons of presents under the tree. Growing up, there were 8 people in the house all buying (or having mom buy for them what they picked out themselves) presents for everyone else. That's 8 people buying one present each for Mom, Dad, and each of their 5 siblings. And then Santa would always fill our stockings with more goodies than we ever could imagine. Big family, big Christmas.
Now that the family has grown up a little more, we're including two nephews and a cousin/roommate who will be getting and giving presents! There are going to be a ton of presents under that tree! It's going to look awesome!
My favorite part of the holiday season is giving. I know it sounds lame and like I'm only saying what I'm supposed to say, and I'm not going to lie to you. I love getting presents. But it's really not so much the stuff, or what I get. I like seeing what sort of thing people get me. For example:
My big sister always gets me some sort of girly stuff. Like those baskets with lotion and body wash and things. One year she got me perfume. Britney Spears' Curious perfume to be precise. This sort of gift shows not only that people give the type of gifts they love to receive, but also the kind of gifts they think the person would need or like. I used to hate the gifts she gave because I didn't like "girly stuff" or I thought she was trying to send a certain message with her perfumes and soaps. But I've come to appreciate the thought that went into it. No, she doesn't think I smell bad, and no, she doesnt' think I'm a slob. She knows that having those things for her helps her feel better about herself and makes her feel pretty. And I think that by giving those things to me, she's trying to make me feel better about myself. Which is awesome, because those gifts work. She always knows exactly what to get me to make me feel like a grown up woman, and not a little girl. And I deeply appreciate it.
So when I give presents, I like to show people how well I know them. I love showing my mom that I was totally paying attention that time we were in the store and she was eyeing that cute towel set. I like to show my brother that I totally get his taste in music and know that he would love to have this cd or that record. I love showing my big sister that even though we might not see eye to eye on the things we like, I still care enough to get those things for her.
The message we send when giving gifts is priceless, and helps to convey feelings and emotions. These messages help to define the relationships we share with those around us. And even if we lose that one gift from our cousin we didn't really need but still liked, or keep that boring gift in our closet to re-gift next year, or even if we use that really awesome gift over and over until it's worn down, it isn't really the item that matters. It's what we're saying by giving it.
So this holiday season, I'm going to pay attention and see how my presents are recieved. I'm going to try to get the perfect gift that will convey the message I want to send with exactness. And remember that it's not the size or the price of the gift - it's what you're saying by giving it, and how you can convey your love in the right way to the right people.
(Just a random side note: That little baby crab that Dora helps out by taking it to it's mommy is adorable. I love that episode.)