Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the gifts. Exchanging gifts is something we all tend to look forward to during Christmas time, both the young and the young-at-heart – I’m even obsessed with the gift wrapping! In my more adult moments though, I do worry about how monetised the tradition has become. Retailers really do go all out to make the most extravagant gifts. Is the spirit of giving about the most expensive gift; or a cheap useless one; or is it the thought that counts? It’s in one of these pondering moments that I came across this simple yet powerful Charlie Brown quote.
What’s under the tree
Charlie Brown had it right. The gifts under the tree shouldn’t be what Christmas is about. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great tradition and there’s nothing wrong with it. But I was appalled to learn that around A$400m (US$297m) get spent on 10 million of unwanted gifts in Australia alone (in 2018 as per the Sydney Morning Herald)! Surely there should be more to giving than adding on to landfill. Spreading the love among those in need with a random act of kindness would be a more meaningful way to practice giving. When you go shopping for Christmas this year, be mindful of what you buy. And don’t forget to put aside what you can for a good cause – whatever that might be.
Who’s around it
That said though, it’s not the gifts under the tree that really counts. As Charlie Brown rightly says, it’s who’s with you around the tree that really matters. Celebrating Christmas with loved ones is what makes it special. Even the most expensive gifts under the tree would have no value, if there is no family or friends to share them with. If it brings you joy, get Christmas gifts. But don’t forget to make time for family and friends. Spend quality time with your partner and children. Reconnect with good friends you’ve lost touch with. Be the bigger person and forget old feuds. Appreciate your loved ones. Christmas is a celebration of love and joy and you can’t do it alone.
Christmas is a beautiful time of year. The tradition of Christmas giving is a great one. But the important thing to remember – which Charlie Brown reminds us – is that above all, it’s the gift of love to family and friends that truly makes Christmas special.
What does Christmas giving mean to you?
PS – In case you’re wondering who Charlie Brown is… 🙂
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© Jan Perera 2021. All rights reserved.
© Jan Perera 2020. All rights reserved.