Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Christmas presents

in this house are relatively simple. We usually buy each other a book we know the other person wants to read. It will be non-fiction of one sort or another.
I bought the Senior Cat a video cassette tape one year. It was non-fiction too, an instruction manual for woodwork. He used it a lot - before the tape player died and he passed the tape and the small machine in question on to someone else.
I still have some of the Christmas books I was given as a child. I might have kept all of them but my mother gave away many of our things during more than one move. It was less for her to pack and unpack. There must have been something about that process she loathed. It may have been something to do with the fact that she moved so many times in her unhappy childhood. The process probably reminded her of that.  Some of my books disappeared along with my adored train set, the doll's pram we used to give the cats rides in and the doll's house my father made me which kept turning into the railway station for the train. No, I was not a child who played with dolls.
My mother gave us things we actually needed for Christmas - mostly clothes to replace those that  were too small or had worn out. She made most of those herself - apart from the "business" shirts the Senior Cat wore.
Now we give one another the books or something we need. Middle Cat asked me not so long ago whether there was anything I needed. Yes, a new cover for the helmet I wear when pedalling out on the roads. The old one has a hole in it.  I can be pretty certain that will appear as a present from her and my brother-in-law. It will be a "useful" thing. 
I know there are people we know who look askance at this sort of gift giving. They think we should be more creative. After all, they say, "It's Christmas. It should be fun."
But Christmas is our acknowledgment of the birthday of someone else. The gifts we give each other are not for our birthdays but an acknowledgment of someone else's birthday. There is no need for them to be lavish. They should simply be a reminder that we care about each other.
After all what could a baby do with all that gold and frankincense and myrrh?



jeanfromcornwall said...

One of our daughters is pretty strapped or cash, so she is under orders that any presents are to be CHEAP. So they usually consist of ancient books that she has fallen over in a charity shop and are far more interesting than brand new shiny ones would be. The really clever bit is that she squirrels them away, and then has to:
a) Remember that she has them.
b) Remember where she hid them.
That is the bit where the love shines through!

Jodiebodie said...

I would rather a thoughtful gift of something we 'need' or can 'use' rather than some random trinket as a gift token. To me, it truly is the thought that counts - it means the person has taken the time and energy to get to know who I am as a person and where I am in life. It doesn't need to be expensive at all. It doesn't need to be brand new - it can be pre-loved. In fact, I would rather NO gift at all than to know that someone I love and care for might have gone beyond their financial means to give me a gift. Love, friendship, respect and time are the best gifts of all.

Thank you for your friendship, Cat. It is truly appreciated. Merry Christmas hugs xx