People keep asking me
"Well, do you have all your Christmas gifts bought?"
and I say,
"actually ------we don't buy presents in our family."
Shock then registers on their face,
and I know they are trying to figure out
if I am totally pulling their leg
maybe we got ourselves mixed up with some
For goodness sakes!
"What do you mean? You don't buy presents?"
THEN --- I explain ---
Five years ago our family decided that we were NOT going to
exchange gifts that year.
With three children in various stages of marriage,
jobs and college
and we ourselves feeling the money crunch,
it seemed like a good thing.
At least it would be a temporary-just-this-year
kind of thing.
We would all just "take a little break"
and resume as normal the next year.
Of course, what happened was ----
WE ALL LOVED IT !!!
And the next year decided --
just one more year.
Really. and truly.
Christmas that year was so low-key.
I didn't scramble around with a knot in the pit
of my stomach,
preparing for that one day.
None of us had to worry about trying to buy
something for someone (that they didn't need
something that fits.
something that wows.
something that is just right wonderful.
None of that!
All we had to do -----was
decide what we were going to cook
what kinds of new traditions
we could start.
Then --- enjoy just being together.
We discovered what fun it was to do just that.
With no pressures of presents.
(Of course, we buy a couple of presents for Lily Kate
and all the future grands.
What kind of crazy, heartless barbarians did you think we were???
We've also started looking for other ways to spend
money we would be spending on gifts.
Did you know, for instance,
you can literally purchase a flock of chickens,
a herd of milk goats,
a pond of fish,
a milk cow
dig part or all of a water well
for a needy family somewhere in the world?
How cool is that?!?!
Now --I don't, for one moment, think everyone should follow our lead
on this new "tradition".
This, after all, is what we believe
was needed in our family
in order to bring us back to the true
Reason for the Season.
It was such a shock to realize that we could say
"no thank you"
to all the gift buying and hubbub.
Next year may be the year we go back to gifts.
But for right now,
at our house --
"all is calm"
and we are looking forward to a
wonderful time with the family.
Whatever this week brings your way,
I hope you totally enjoy every single moment of it
and I pray you are
blessed beyond measure.