I stumbled upon a blog entry that kinda tickled my fancy on http://www.farbeyondthestars.com/ The link to the facebook article (where I first saw it) is here: http://www.farbeyondthestars.com/1-simple-strategy-to-save-2000-this-holiday-and-make-everyone-love-you-forever/
I was very daunted this morning, as I logged onto my early morning facebook, about getting the last five christmas presents. Actually, I was actually anxious beyond belief, and when I read this, my world seemed to shrink even more and my anxiety grow with every heartbeat. Why was I even going to the shops? What if someone beeps me in the car park? What if I can't find anything? What will I eat for lunch? (and other similar things) His Majesty got a panicked and rather rude text message (sorry my love.......) that everyone was getting wine. That's it. Even Ava's Daddy from Ava and Ava's Nanny and Pop. Wine from a 2 year old.What? She's precocious!
Then I started to calm down a bit.
My family buy gifts. That's what they do. I am a bit of a hippy and a minimalist, and I would be very okay with just a meal together and a hug, but I am 100% certain that my family members wouldn't be. I think they would be hurt, and a little pissed off. I also think that anything homemade would get sneered at as being cheap and worthless. Hey! I didn't say my family was perfect! (Personally, I love homemade Christmas foods. Fudge, Rumballs, Shortbread....all of it. This year I got a beautiful parcel of homemade White Christmas, Rumballs, Apricot Balls an other christmassy goodness from my friends mum, and I so appreciate the time and effort that went into the making of the sweets and the presentation. Thank you Ruth!)
So, I do agree very heartily with giving freedom. I would love for someone to give the gift of a massage or a facial, or offer to come and mop my floors, or even better, take me out for lunch. I would love someone to give me a coles myer voucher, so I didn't have to stress as much about food shopping the next week. A lot of my stresses are money worries, so cash is great! If someone came to me and asked me if I wanted to start highland dancing with them, and they would pay the first 5 weeks for me, NO WORRIES!
There is one thing that I think the author of this blog has missed. I love memories, and I want them documented, so I can reflect on the past. I love people sending me photos of their family, and of me and my family too. I love new opportunities to make memories. I love photo frames, photos on mugs, written recollections; anything that celebrates the year that has been.
So, the things I have given people this year are all precious, but not neccessarily expensive, items. I can't quite talk about them yet (!) because then that would ruin the surprise, but they are all things that people have wanted.
Yes, this year I am giving "things". There are no stupid, gadgety items, no socks and jocks. Things that people want, like cameras, pictures of grandchildren, tools for making things and books. Useful and wanted things, but things, none the less. In the new year, I am going to try and give more "experiences". Buy someone a helicopter flight. Offer to organise piano lessons. I am also going to let people know that I have enough things. I really do! There are a couple of things that I want, that I think would enrich my life:
A camera (I actually don't have one. But I have an iphone, so really, I can live without it)
A new computer. (This one is dying....But still working. I can also live without it)
A Bike. (I would really like to be able to ride to work and the shops when I don't have Ava, and it would help me stay fit and reduce my carbon footprint)
A bedroom suite (we don't have one. I would just like my clothes to be neat and tidy. But really not urgent at all)
And I can't really think of anything else I want! I have a big backyard full of healthy vegetables that I am very proud of, a lovely, clean roof over my head, clothes, furniture, a supportive and loving partner, and a beautiful young family that I share with some amazing people. What more could I want!!!
In an ideal world, I would really like to give away all my earthly posessions and become a vagrant, with a nuetral carbon footprint, dreadlocks, bare feet and no fixed address. The reality is that I have a young family, who need stability and security. So for now, I do what I can, live and give with my minimal (but meaningful) things and dream of the day where the saying "It's the thought that counts" is true.