Things to ponder

Things to Ponder: on Christmas Gifts

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.

Picture of the bottom of a Christmas tree filled with gifts. Text reads "Things to ponder. It's not what's under the Christmas tree that matters, it's who's around it - Charlie Brown."

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.

19 thoughts on “Things to Ponder: on Christmas Gifts”

  1. That much on unwanted gifts? Crazy. You are right – thoughtful gifts are the best, edibles, too, if I may add. We enjoy Christmas a lot and do social work because there is no better time to spread cheer than Christmas!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That amount of unwanted gifts really is crazy isn’t it?!
      Edible gifts are the best! Like whose going to put a good bottle of wine and cheese to waste! 😂
      That’s awesome – kudos to you both! 👏
      It’s definitely such a great time to go and do something for a good cause. What’s on the social work agenda for this year?


      1. Yes✨✨Edible gifts😂Give em to me. There is no way I am wasting the expensive and sometime post chocolates —now don’t ask me that’s a post chocolate. All sorts are about during Christmas.

        Always a pleasure reading your post Jan🧡 xx

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Haha you made me laugh!
        May this Christmas bring you plenty of edible gifts! (hopefully not post ones 😂)
        Thanks for reading Shahrin! Hope you have an amazing Christmas xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was always bad at gift wrapping 🎁 🤪
    But Charlie Brown is right! is not important what’s under the tree but who’s surrounding it 😉 This year me and my hubby (if we’ll decide to make the tree 🌲 🤪).
    Have a wonderful time!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That sounds like a good Christmas!
      Even I’m still thinking about putting up the tree – because of toddler safety reasons lol. But so glad I’ll have my family – with or without the tree.
      You too! Hope you have an amazing Christmas. I’m sure you’ll be cooking up a treat! ☺️

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Such lovely messaging in this post and love the link to Charlie Brown 😍
    For me Christmas is about the time spent with loved ones and the experience of the festivities, creating fond memories to look back on 🎄🎅

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I remember this Charlie Brown quote (I think I saw it on TV not too long ago)! But so true, Christmas is about spending time with your loved ones, not the gifts. Though I am guilty for putting together a Christmas wishlist this year. Great post Jan!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh not at all. I’m not trying to ruin Christmas for you haha. It’s perfectly ok wish for gifts you need or want. It’s more the unwanted gifts – giving and receiving – that we could try to be more mindful of ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh no I didn’t think you were trying to ruin Christmas for me haha! Ah ok, so focus on giving gifts that our family would like without expecting anything in return?


  5. What a great post with an equally powerful message! I actually wrote a blog post related to this message of consumerism. The stores definitely make it all about the presents or the expectation of what’s coming.. I actually watched a really interesting podcast on YouTube on this very subject: which tackles the all consuming nature of having too much stuff particularly during Christmas and how to have a more minimalistic lifestyle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Helen. Let me check out your post. You’re quite right, retailers take every effort to commercialise Christmas. Thanks for sharing. Hopefully we can all do our part to be a tad more mindful about gifts this Christmas. ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely a synchronized post 😅 I’m in shock with how much money gets spent, but at the end of the day it’s each person’s choice. I don’t go big on Christmas gifts because it was never the focus growing up. It’s all about love( and obviously religion on my part) 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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