Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Give of Yourself

A good gift is about two people or more, never just one. A good gift is about the giver and the given to, and it is meant to symbolize, even literally materialize, that relationship, that social or emotional bond.

Seems there's been yacking about the over comercialization of Christmas for decades. "Miracle on 34th Street" certainly touched on the theme over 70 years ago, and Charles Dickens had his take on it, too.

Now you may want that flat screen TV piled high on a pile of stuff as high as the Christmas tree, but maybe that might embarrass you a little, a bunch of boxes of gear. (And what is this with wives buying their husbands 3-packs of plain briefs to go under the tree? Too practical, isn't that kinda pathetic, even a guy needs underwear? Get it on sale after New Year's and give a cup of nog. The humility of briefs aside, a cup of nog or a $1 candle would be more sporting for something that's meant to be festive.)

So if the over commercialization bothers you ever, it's not too late to do something about it. You can scale back today, tonight. Go with what you've got. Wrap it in fun ways. Make a ritual of opening things. Have the nog and candle handy. Sit back. Keep your pajamas on not just for an extra hour but for a few extra days - including the day after Christmas - that mad dash out the door the next day seems like a big set back to me. Are all those dashers just downright addicted?

And, of course, give of yourself. A flat screen TV is not love. A new computer is not love. The L. L. Bean catalog and the folks at Lands' End might like for you to think a cozy sweater is love, but even Mr. Rogers' sweater he wore himself is not love. Time is love. Attention. Relaxation. Nothing better to do. Being together, just being, being thankful, smiling. From Jesus to the Beatles, love escapes us in our mad dash to get there, ending up other places.

So hone in, focus, and give of yourself, and you'll be reminded that love is not all we need, but it very may well be what we need most.

ADDENDUM: Here are two novel sorts of gift lists to help steer one's friends and relations and well-wishers: 1, Things I Have Enough of For Now, and 2, Things I No Longer Use or Need.

1, Things I Have Enough of For Now:

denim anything
bicycle clothes
bicycle gear
crew neck sweaters
most anything cotton
books (except on my Amazon list)
magazines (renewing very few)

2, Things I No Longer Use or Need:

button down shirts
plaids and patterns
plastic items
games, puzzles
bright colors
purple and green
car accessories



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