I’m not a Grinch I swear!

Ahhh Christmas and the holiday season has arrived. Well, it’s more than arrived, it’s here!  All around me everyone is in a hurry! Hustling and bustling to buy presents, get to parties, more presents, hang lights, put up trees and then some.

For a couple of weeks now everyone around me has been talking about all of the things they are doing to prepare.  Meals, presents, decorations, repeat.  Meanwhile, I sip my coffee and smile, doing almost none of that.  It almost makes me feel Grinch-like, but I know the truth!

You see, I used to.  I absolutely LOVE Christmas time.  I used to decorate my home, put out my special dishes (yes, I have special Christmas dishes…), and spend lots of time, money and effort on the holiday season.  I have lots of family members and I would make sure to purchase presents for as many of them as I could.  Home, or away, everyone had to have presents! The more thoughtful (aka expensive it seemed like) the better!

I would even hand-make gifts, just special for all of my close friends and family.  Then, I finally noticed something.  No one cared.  Not really anyways.  While yes, everyone would open the gifts and do the initial ooh or ahh, whatever I did would get quickly cast aside for the next wrapped gift.  I would put in so much effort for a solid two seconds of enjoyment.  Now, maybe it’s because I naturally come from a fairly large family.  Perhaps if I had a smaller family, the gifts would have a little more meaning, but it didn’t really matter.

So, not just at Christmas, I started to really take notice, even during birthdays.  Then, I started to think internally about it.  Do I remember every individual gift I ever got?  Have I truly appreciated these … things?  The answer was an astounding no.  I also do not remember every little thing that was ever made for me or given to me.

What do I remember?  The TIME spent with my loved ones.  The joy I felt being surrounded by my family as we celebrated.  What did I do? I stopped giving gifts and fussing over it.  I, of course, also stopped expecting presents.  And to be honest?  NO ONE NOTICED.  I would still pass out cards at times and occasionally I will give updated family pictures as a gift, but I have never heard a single complaint.

Being an aunt to quite a few young children, I do tend to bring something for us all to make or play together instead.  It might be a craft, story books or one year, we made a gingerbread house. It was so much fun!  I have also found that I tend to stress much, much less over the holiday season and smile much, much more.

Maybe you’re one of those people that feels most fulfilled when you give things, that’s great!  This is just my personal view at this time.  I should also mention that I will probably go back to gift giving once we have children of our own, but I have definitely been learning the art of simplification!

Ultimately, there are alternate ways to show your love and affections.  Invest your time into the people around you.  Time is usually all anyone wants anyways. I know I have especially seen my single parent friends stressing out if they cannot provide an extravagant holiday season.  Let’s go back to making it less about the amount of presents and more about the amount of presence.

Maya Angelou said it best when she said “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Enjoy your holidays!

Know what we're sayin fam?

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17 thoughts on “I’m not a Grinch I swear!”

    1. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND WE AS VETERANS HAVE TO VOTE , CAN’T LET CONGRESS CHANGE OUR CONSTITUTION …… HAPPY NEW YEAR.. MARINE INFANTRY, ARMY ENGINEERS VETERAN…..

  1. Good point, my grandchildren love grandpa we go sledding ,we go out in the woods and
    horse around we always find something out there to look at or do. when we as a family go up north fishing. The kids they all want to go with grandpa from the littlest to the biggest all the adults go my themselves they think they have it made I on the other hand have precious memories and we always catch more fish. And we always snick over to the nearest resort for ice cream and soda. When people kids or adults get in my pontoon it’s how you make them feel, my dad taught me that he said when somebody’s in your boat its your responsibility to see they have fun. bottom line enjoy life and praise God

  2. Absolutely true!!!
    We’ve become so worried about the “perfect” IG or any SM POST/photo that we’ve forgotten the true purpose. I always remember what Ma (from the Little House books) said. Christmas isn’t Santa, or the gifts, it’s caring about & for others before self.
    Funny how much food figures into the time factor, that has always been my favorite part of any holiday – working in the kitchen with my loved ones!

  3. I wish more people felt this way.
    I have a small family, since the death of an immediate relative we are not close to anyone else and this year we did not got together with anyone and like you said, No one cared.
    We bought presents and we received presents but no one showed up and no one checked on us and i think Christmas should be more than just gifts.

  4. Could not have said it better! That was the truest thing I have read in a very long time!! Thank you! #presenceoverpresents

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