good and perfect gifts

not enough sleep two nights in a row, and running around from morning until night today, has left me feeling absolutely dazed and exhausted in that “beyond tired” way. and two very adorable little boys with birthdays ten days before Christmas means that I was driven to enter into the mass of people engaged in frantic Christmas consumption, which was really a very odd feeling, given the fact that this is my second Christmas of doing virtually NO gifts for anybody . . . probably for the first time in my life.  I have no choice, in a sense, as I really don’t have any extra money, but I definitely have mixed emotions about it, missing it and not missing it all at once . . .

today, though, I started to think about this whole thing, and found myself questioning previous assumptions . . . my obsession with finding the right gift, the perfect thing for that particular person, is something that I’ve always identified as a defect, a compulsion, a need to fill some emptiness that I refuse to be aware of. Today, however, I felt incredibly conflicted (especially with “the story of stuff” still fresh in my mind) and found myself starting to wonder . . . are “things” really inherently evil? is it really so wrong to show your love and care for a person by working really hard at finding the perfect gift for them? It’s something I’m good at . . . and my “love language” is giving gifts . . . and certainly we all have way more “stuff” than we need, but in some ways, isn’t it possible that there is some redeeming value in this? of course, that would probably be a more “Reformed” viewpoint, but somehow it doesn’t seem to fit in with my “capitalism is evil” sensibilities . . .

at any rate, I know that we have been warned that the LOVE of money (and of the things it can buy?!) is the root of all sorts of evil . . . and then there’s that “embroidered pillow” phrase– “don’t love things and use people; use things and love people” or however it goes . . . but things, people, capitalism, simplicity, consumption, time, and the crush of “stuff” in my life are all swirling around in my brain right now.

and I really should just go to sleep, but I was blogging this in my mind even as I was shopping, and knew I had to at least get this thought process started. and I want to end this with “more to come”, but the problem seems to be that there is never any time for “more” as the crush of life continues to push me forward at that roller-coaster dizzying speed . . .

or maybe I should really just go to bed . . .

2 thoughts on “good and perfect gifts

  1. Hey – just a thought, but would making something, writing something, baking something, coupons for time promised/events to do together fill the need to give something special and possibly mean more to a person than “stuff” could ever mean?

    If not, I’ve found ebay to be a great source of cheap stuff as long as you can think ahead…;-)


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