Ah, the holidays. I love the decorations, the lights, the goodies, and all the fun. What I don’t like, is the asking for things. I’ve never been very good at that. Pretty much since I stopped sending letters to Santa, I have hated making a wish list. Even for my birthday. I downplay my birthday every year. Not because of my age, but because I don’t want the fuss. It’s just a block I have. Of course, I’m a pretty unusual woman to begin with. Can I admit that I don’t like shopping? Yup. It’s true. Even as a teenager, I have never liked heading to the mall. I know I’m not alone in this, but we are definitely in the minority.
I do, however, like gift giving. I love seeing someone’s face light up with excitement when you get them something amazing. Especially if they weren’t expecting it! So much fun! Even better with older kids and adults. Like the time I got my husband a T-Shirt which was signed by an actor we like. He was completely blown away! In fact, the most memorable gifts I can remember, are ones that didn’t necessarily cost a lot, but were things that came of a casual conversation or other moment in our lives. Something that shows that you truly listened. Like the time my young son decided to buy some speakers for my car as mine had just started going out. With his own money. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think of how sweet he is.
Speaking of my son and husband, they have both been bugging me to fill out a wish list. I agonize over it, knowing that my son will want to spend money on me again. The thought alone warms my heart enough. When he was young, the little things he made were the gifts I treasured most, and still do, but he’s a teenager now. At one point, years ago, my husband made an excellent point. As much as I love giving, I need to find a way to make it easier for them to give in return. He is, after all, my son and has the same big heart that I do. Aww… OK, that’s true.
So, now we all add some items to our wish lists every year. Mine is the smallest among us, because I still can’t get myself to ask for too much. I really don’t need a lot of things. I’m actually trying to reduce our clutter rather than add to it. There are some things I’m thinking of adding to it. Like time with my son baking cookies for the holidays. Perhaps more time playing with my niece and nephew. How about good health and less stress for everyone? Yeah, that would be nice. Peace on earth sounds like a great deal, but it seems too big a job since it hasn’t happened after all the wishes already made. Perhaps if we all think a little more locally rather than globally. It doesn’t have to take a lot of money, effort, or time, but there are little things we can do for each other every day. Smile at people. Hold open a door for someone. Actually listen. Think before you speak. Put others needs ahead of your own. Make something. Spend time helping. Do things that actually help others.
This year, I’m making a list for myself to complete. It may take longer than just through the holidays, but that’s OK. It can be a revolving list that I keep adding onto. A “good will” list of sorts. The items included will be things I can do to generate happiness. I will make goody bags of homemade treats for our friends, neighbors, and clients. I will make ecards for everyone I know, and send each one with a personalized message. I will get my son in the kitchen more often, and teach him how to make his favorite meals. I will check in on my elderly neighbor more often. I will invite people over for dinner more. I will follow my passions. I will shop small as much as possible. I will support my friends and neighbors more. I’m going to let go of things I don’t need any more. Like stress and the causes of it. At least I can try! Just a bit of effort in the right directions. It certainly can’t hurt. I believe in the saying: Gratitude turns what we have into enough.