With Christmas just a few days off, and the frenzy that typically accompanies it, I strive to find ways to slow it down. For those of you who follow this blog with some regularity, you know already that I am a reflective kind of guy, and for those that don’t, welcome and I hope you stay a while.
I struggle at this time of year between my desire to give and my desire to get, knowing how much greater pleasure I find in giving than getting, you would think there wouldn’t be much conflict.
I think, I have narrowed it down to one primary point. When giving, I want what I give to mean more than it does, usually, and when receiving, I want it to mean more than it does, usually. There, doesn’t that make things crystal clear for you? ….
Let me expound on this. When I give a gift no matter how much thought, time or resource spent it really falls short of what I want to convey to the person receiving it. Material goods can never adequately display or fill that intimacy that I want to express, and so there is inevitably this sense of falling short. No matter how gracious or joy filled the receiver is, in my heart I know that no matter what I give it will become a mere token or dust collector. If I try to make something it can at times be a tad more meaningful and that is probably due more to my efforts rather than any intrinsic value.
I am always touched when someone thinks enough about me to want to give me something but, (this is going to sound awful) I need to speak in truth here, I wonder if it is given out of a sense of duty or a feeling of needing to reciprocate in kind or even just out of tradition. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate it, I do, but as aforementioned material goods can not replace or even enhance the love I have already received through relationship.
One of my shortcomings is I so desire affirmation I will often go out of my way just to get it. We all I believe desire affirmation and we all I believe try to find or get it incorrectly. It would be easy to jump on the commercialization of Christmas bandwagon here, that isn’t where I want to go, nobody forces us to buy into the frenzy, we choose to do it.
It’s impossible to cram into one day or even a season meaningful interactions, intimate conversations, and countless acts of kindness that build real relationships, What’s more for those whom you have already built relationships with, can you now, somehow find “the perfect gift” that says and means everything you would like it to.
All this to say “The Real Christmas” is not about gifts….it’s about relationship, and that is what I would like to chat about in “Part 2” on Friday.