by Bronwyn Jameson
My family has decided to try a no-gift Christmas this year and the concept didn't sit comfortably for a while. I confess: I do like to shop and shopping at Christmas is a special delight. I love the store displays, the decorations, choosing the gift-wrapping, even the challenge of finding the perfect gift for those I love.
I admit that this "perfect gift" for my very grown-up and citified sons has become increasingly difficult and, okay, expensive to find. Last year our youngest mooted the idea of a gift-free Christmas but I couldn't pull it off. We knew it would be Mum's last Christmas and the extended family all came home, even my brother for the first time in yonks. There were many small people (Mum's great-grands) and how could there not be gifts under the tree?
|Courtesy of Faith Family America's Facebook page
This year will be a quite different Christmas. Our eldest is moving to London after New Years and is in the midst of decluttering and packing. The youngest is focussed on moving in the New Year. I've just finished packing up Mum's house and the process has inspired me to declutter. I admit that I am something of a pack-rat but how did I manage to accumulate so much unnecessary stuff?
When the first "So, Mum, what do you want for Christmas?" call came through I was in the mood to reply, "Honestly? I don't need anything." Which isn't quite the truth. What I need is my family around me, loads of laughter, long meals and comfortable conversations. I need time to reflect, to remind myself of the true meaning of Christmas, and if I feel compelled to shop, then it should be for those who truly need a gift this Christmas. There are many charities who will help with this.
In the end, my sons and I are content with our decision not to gift each other. I can only hope that my husband will not go renegade on Christmas Eve, as is his way, and spoil the experiment. I will let you know how that goes.
Have you tried a gift-free Christmas? Did you -- or would you -- miss the pile of presents under the tree Christmas morning? Or do you believe the true gift of Christmas is found somewhere else?