Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Poem

I am struggling with gift giving this Christmas. I want to go Christmas shopping but, I don't have any money to spend and I really shouldn't rack up any more debt.

The problem lies in my love language. When I read "The Five Love Languages of Children" by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, I was appalled that one of the love languages is gifts. My exact reaction was "I hope none of my children have this love language, how would I deal with that!" I read a little further to find that the gifts love language manifests itself in a child treasuring each gift and remembering who it is from. Then it hit me, "Oh my gosh, that's totally me!"

I remember the sweater my future father-in-law picked out for me the first Christmas I spent with Jeff's family. I remember my dad bought me CV joints when I was 19 years old and my car was on it's last legs, literally. I remember Jeff hawked his ski's one Christmas so he could buy me an engraved locket with both our baby pictures in it. I remember the smell of the Coach Diaper Bag that Jeff surprised me with when I was pregnant with Belle. I remember the huge stuffed dog that my Aunt Gayle gave to me for my birthday when I was in High School.

I also remember the gifts I gave. The first Christmas after my parents divorced, I got my dad a coffee maker from Starbucks. When my younger brother was in high school I pitch in with my parents so we could buy him a car stereo. I remember buying my nephew a stuffed lion puppet when he was a toddler and before he was my nephew. I will even admit that for my first Christmas with Jeff, I bought him a shirt that matched mine.

Admittedly, I don't always picked the best gifts, but I have always given something. This Christmas, I want to find something for everyone and pay for it on credit even though I know I don't have the resources to pay off the credit cards. The only resource that I have is a Disney gift card earned with reward points from my Disney Visa purchases.

Here is a short Christmas poem to my family:

My heart and pocket book are having a tug of war.
I hope you want something from the Disney Store.


Anonymous said...

Totally not about the money dear, but I hear you loud and clear!

Thanks to some of Hubby's very difficult customers we are lacking in resources ourselves, but I am still shopping!

Carmi said...

We find ourselves wrestling with the gift thing at this time of year - and we don't even celebrate Christmas! It's become such a consumption-driven holiday season that it's difficult to get away from the shopping-driven culture.

I wish I had a long-term answer to this, but I don't. We do our best to help our kids understand that gifts take many forms, most of which have nothing to do with paying money for something at a store. But it's tough to ensure the message sticks when they go to school and hang around other kids whose parents don't give extravagant purchases a second thought.

It's a sad state of affairs when holidays become all about "stuff". I wish it were different.


Still, good to e-see you on your blog. I always enjoy your perspectives on your family.

Amy Bennett said...

If they're anything like my girls, they'd LOVE that.

Lisa said...

Great poem! I don't think your family wants you to go into debt though,

Rachel said...

I love the 5 love languages! Have you done the one for kids/parents. I love it! okay, back on topic. Poem is too cute!
Who wouldn't want something from the Disney store? I mean, come on.
You'll handle it beautifully. It's not about quantity or cost... it's about the memory, the thought and the quantity and quality of the love that provided it.

Lizzi said...

Oh, Amy, this is such a personal subject and obviously means a great deal to you, so I hate to even comment but ... I'm mouthy that way.

Gifts are truly an expression of love, I agree with that wholeheartedly. HOWEVER. Putting yourself and your family into debt is most definitely NOT a gift for them, and they are what should come first! It's a decision that you will most likely regret for a very long time, and can cause oh so many problems for you down the road. I know you don't know me from Adam, but please PLEASE don't go into debt just to buy extravagant gifts for everyone.

Time is a much more valuable gift than money, and teaching your children to give of their time and from the heart would be, IMO, a much more valuable lesson too. Bake trays of cookies for people as gifts - trust me, as someone who can't bake AT ALL, that is always a gift that I treasure! Give the gift of babysitting to your friends - I would LOVE that! Give your husband the gift of you ... ahem, you know what I mean - they're men, they ALWAYS like that! Make your own gift baskets for people - you can customize them just for the person, and they don't have to be expensive. Anne Glamore at My Tiny Kingdom has some great inexpensive gift ideas listed too.

Seriously, going into debt is a gift for no one - especially your husband and children.

(Climbing off soapbox now ... )