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All I Want for Christmas…

by
Michelle & Teresa at Christmas

All I want for Christmas – I'm disgusted every time I hear this and I never thought I'd hear it from my family. What ever happened to "it's the thought that counts"? What ever happened to "it's better to give than receive"?

I was raised to never ask for a gift from anyone. You graciously accept what is given to you and appreciate the thought, effort and sacrifice that went into the gift. I was raised by a mother who gives and gives and gives – the look on her face when she sees the receiver full of happiness is priceless! It's amazing to see: someone experiencing real joy in giving; receiving gifts have never made her as happy as I have seen her when she gives… That's the mother that raised me. And that's how I was raised.

In recent years, our family has done a "Secret Santa" gift exchange amongst cousins. This year, I think too many lines have been crossed. First off, we've typically had a maximum dollar amount for the gifts – I think it's been a maximum of $10 or something like that. But this year, it's been changed to a minimum of $15. So one of my uncles who has 4 elementary-school-aged boys, is obligated to shell out a minimum of $60! Yikes! That's a pretty hefty price of admission…

To make matters worse, one of my cousins decided to start a private Facebook event with the title "All I want for Christmas…" so that we can all ask for what we want. It seriously disgusts me to see this. And the requests are for "good brands" etc. All I want for Christmas is my real family back – the ones that wouldn't even dream of writing something like this… the ones that would concern themselves more with what they were going to give, than what they would be receiving… the ones that believe it's the thought that counts, not the gift… Where did my family go? The ones that would also remember the needy at Christmas time?

Every Christmas I think about the kids who don't get a Christmas. The kids that ask only for food on the table at Christmas. The kids that ask Santa for a safe home and nothing else. And I think about the parents who sacrifice everything, work extra hours and lose sleep, just so they can afford to give something to their kids from Santa. I feel tremendously lucky to not be in this kind of position, but I think God blessed me with enough financial stability so that I can help the less fortunate. Michelle and I decided years ago that we wouldn't buy gifts for each other at Christmas. Instead, we would donate as much as we could to the needy and give each other the gift of our company. So far, it's been wonderful for us.

I find it sad that so many people forget the real meaning of Christmas and pervert things in such ridiculous ways. I've been focusing on what I'll give to my cousin that can bring real meaning to his/her Christmas. I don't care what I receive – I'll be donating it to someone who needs it more than I do anyways. There's nothing I need bad enough that I have to ask for it – but there are people that really do.

Hopefully we can all try to remember the real reasons we celebrate Christmas and try to make it a little brighter for those less fortunate. And hopefully we can all experience joy in giving and appreciate the thought that went into our gifts. It truly is the thought that counts.

Merry Christmas to everyone!