All Wrapped Up Pretty with a Bow

Beautiful Bows by Karen Appleton

So Thanksgiving is over (poof!) and now it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to Christmas. I didn’t participate in any Black Friday events (did you?) because frankly, I’m just not into the hoopla. And, my list is not all that long. Let me explain.

We pull names on my husband’s side of the family so Jim and I only have two presents to buy there. My kids are older now and frankly, we’re just not into lavish presents. Plus we are still helping our kids in other ways financially. How much is too much (or not enough) when it comes to your kids (or grand kids for that matter)?

As I work on my spirituality, I don’t want Christmas to be only about shopping and gifts. It just seems too superficial. In my early days as a new mom, the holidays were about lots of presents, cooking, decorating and getting exhausted. I usually got a terrible cold when New Year’s was over, likely from all the self induced stress I put myself through.

Last year, I tried something new. I took each of my kids to a music event. John and I went to see Handel’s Messiah, and Michelene and I went to see Jackie Evancho. This way, I gave a larger gift- my time– and both kids responded in a positive way. Also, this gives me a chance to support local non profits like the CLO or Pittsburgh Symphony. So that is what I think I might do this year. A music or artistic event, a teeny bit of money and some socks. Everyone can always use warm socks.

I want to remember, most of all, that the holiday is about spending quality time with family and whatever is the reason for the season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, I think the ritual of eating and spending time together with family and friends, when accompanied by the symbolic significance of your holiday, is the synergy that makes holidays meaningful.

So my gift list this year isn’t too long. I kind of like it that way. I’m into wrapping my time up pretty with a bow and being with the ones I love.

(Thank you to Karen Appleton for her beautiful painting of Bows! Click on her name below the bows picture and visit her website!)

How do you feel about gift giving? Is it all about the presents or do you do something different? Fill me in!

Join me on my graceful journey.

14 Replies to “All Wrapped Up Pretty with a Bow”

  1. I’ve never shopped on Black Friday…the chaos isn’t worth it to me. And besides, I like to take that day as a time of rest and relaxation from the excitement and scurry of preparing Thanksgiving. I love the cooking and the baking, but the next day it’s nice to do nothing and eat left overs.

    I agree about keeping hold of ones spirituality during the Christmas season. After all it’s the aura of the star within our own hearts and knowing that urges us onward into the Light (revealing our own),and and keep us in its presence the whole year through.

    Enjoy the the journey of following the star,

    Marianne xo

  2. Joanne, what a great gift…”wrapping your time up in a bow & giving it to others” ! I love that!!! I too share your feelings of gift giving. My fondest memories of Christmas are the times spent in church with my family,and extended family, driving wuth my kids when they were young to see the beautiful Christmas displays, or even having a Christmas luncheon with a friend or friends. I love giving of my time.& enjoying the. memories thereof.

  3. I love the idea of a music event as a way of spending time with loved ones and supporting the artists. In our family, Christmas is the only day of the year that we do celebrate with gifts. We give one gift per person and its usually hobby related–something to be cherished all year long. Warm regards and happy holidays to you and yours, Vivian

  4. I love it – I tell my children their gift to me should be finding a time we all can be together during the holidays. They always manage! We keep gifts simple and focus on the spiritual and family aspects of the time together.

  5. You my friend are one smart cookie. Love your idea of spending time with others. We try to give “experiences” to our grown children that they can do with their families……children museum passes and lunch or aquarium passes things like that. I just fell head over heels in love with your idea of spending time for a musical event together. Simply lovely. Every single time I stop by your blog world I feel bathed in Grace. Thank you so much.

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