Gift giving can be a lot of fun. Sometimes it’s more fun for the giver than the receiver.
Remembering the first Christmas I spent with Bill 53 years ago, I can still feel the excitement of his opening my gifts. None of them even made it to Christmas day or even Christmas Eve. Every time I’d buy something, I’d get so excited that I’d end up giving it to him that evening – after urging him to try to guess what it was.
All his life he kept that child-like enthusiasm when given a gift. Made it so much fun!
The Cold Hard Facts of Credit
Problem was, those gifts were charged and I really couldn’t afford them. We had to go through some rough times before I finally “got it” that if you don’t have the money you don’t buy! You do without.
I consider myself very fortunate to have learned that lesson (even if it was the hard way) since for the past 30 years we’ve lived in this “age of credit” and money printed by the government with nothing to back it up. Especially those who have grown up in these years, think it’s normal and “that’s just the way things are done now”.
Unfortunately, individuals and/or societies can’t break universal laws (agriculture is another example) without paying the price sooner or later. It’s just the way the universe works.
Stopped Gift Giving on Holidays
It didn’t take many years for Bill and I to stop gift giving on worldly holidays. Lots of things accounted for that, but it worked out great.
There’s a freedom that comes with not feeling like you “have to” give a gift just because it’s expected. And a real freedom too in feeling good (rather than sad) about not buying what you can’t afford.
When we did give each other something, it was always a lot of fun and nothing to do with any holiday.
In spite of material gifts being so much fun, they can’t compete with the best gifts. The best gifts can’t be bought with money.
What Sustains Me Through Grief
My greatest gift in life was being married to Bill Martz. His example throughout our life together, his attitude, and his unconditional love for me worked together to create the environment I needed to build the inner resources that sustain me now.
There was never a time that he was too busy to stop and give me his undivided attention when I really needed it.
Undivided attention (when it’s needed) is one of the most priceless gifts we can give to our mates, our children, and our friends.
It’s the kind of attention that really “hears” what they have to say. It tells them they’re important to us and that we value their thoughts.
It’s the kind that you can’t fake – especially with kids. They see your heart and will see right through pretense.
Wishing you every joy and happiness and all the best gifts.
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