Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bah, Humbug? Naaaaaaaaaah.

It’s a cold, wintry night. I’m kicked back on my bed, watching Lifetime – a rarity (me kicked back on my bed, even getting to watch television). Zack the Wonder Dog is asleep and snoring, laying on MLH’s pillow, with his head on my shoulder. Zoie the Wonder Pup is nestled up against my leg, and is chewing on…a coathanger? What the heck?

MLH is at the kitchen table finalizing his morning reports. Younger Son is working at Best Buy and won’t be off until 11 p.m. – the joys of the Christmas Season. Elder Son is doing his own version of Christmas retail in Las Vegas, modeling for Cinch Jeans at Cowboy Christmas, and having a blast.

As for me? I’ve not even thought about one single Christmas present. That is horrible, I know.

One of my coworkers asked me what MLH was getting me for Christmas – and I must have had this weird look cross my face. He said, “What? Do y’all not exchange presents?” And I said, “Oh, sometimes – it just depends.”

The truth is, we usually don’t exchange Christmas gifts, by mutual agreement. Now, if I see something that I absolutely know will blow MLH’s socks off, I will snag it -like the cool amp I surprised him with on Christmas last year. I love to surprise him, and he does a good job of surprising me, as well. We always get the boys Christmas gifts, and though they’re grown, one of our traditions are filling their Christmas Gift Sacks (their stuff won’t fit in stockings!) with all sorts of music stuff, fun things, gift cards and neat t-shirts, things they’ll use but probably wouldn’t buy for themselves. Zack (and now, Zoie) will get a stocking, as well.

Before December’s end, we’ll go on a short trip, and that will be our Christmas and anniversary celebration with each other. Getaways are always good for renewals - and we've been working so hard, we need some time off - just to breathe.

As to giving within our extended families for Christmas, we don’t. Our families always adopt other families through the Salvation Army and give to them, instead. On MLH’s side of the family, we all get together for family dinner, and go deliver all the presents to the Salvation Army at one time. It’s fun, and we all know we’re helping others – and it is right to do so. On both sides of our families, we do a themed stocking exchange, much like a white elephant party – if someone else likes the stocking you chose better than the one they drew, it’s up for grabs. That is a lot of fun, and can get really crazy.

Mostly, we try to live Christmas throughout the year…with each other, and by giving when we see a need, volunteering, and supporting different causes close to our hearts. It’s where, hopefully, we’re most effective.

The awesome gift the Father gave us - the gift of Jesus Christ - lasts all year, every year. It's the gift that's new every morning! And that's gift enough for us.


little david said...

Great post, Janie. Cat and I usually agree that the rug we bought in November, for example, will be our mutual Christmas present. Now that we have a grandson, it is difficult not to focus all the attention there. I like your idea of adopting a family through the Salvation Army.

beth said...

Clearly you haven't found the right stockings :) Friends of ours have stockings that their 5 year old can stand in and pull completely over her head.

We tend to try and give gifts all year as the fancy strikes rather than centering them around Christmas. It helps us leave Christmas for focusing on the gift that Jesus was and is, which is really so much more important than anything we could buy.

Tamara said...

Great story. Wish my family would follow suit. With 4 kids and over 30 in my extended family - whom ALL show up for the Christmas Eve party, it get a bit commercial.

Karen said...

We do very much the same thing, Janie. We don't always exchange presents but spoil our son. He gets the stuff he mentions, video games, books, dvd sets, and a stocking full of candy, treats and a gift card or three.

We tend to pick up stuff as we see it and works into the budget. Then no one just gets 'stuff', which is the last thing we need around here! And, of course, Max and Oreo get their treats, too.

Anonymous said...

what if only one of you gets a gift from the other? does the other one feel bad? I only buy a present for my son, Christmas is not a time of year for me to stress. Can you advise me on a good handgun for a lady firstime gun owner? answer on my blog if you can because 5 seconds after I leave here I will have forgotten I asked you ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie-great blog. We have never gotten too involved in the present thing, but I do enjoy when I know just the right thing to get for someone! What I want to know is how Pepsi & Sierra know which present is theirs?(new leather collars and lead). They go right for the packages that are theirs and leave the rest alone! Actually, with 5 grandkids, this Christmas will be mayhem at out house-gotta love it!

Janie said...

David - adopting a family is a cool thing. As to your rug, do you think Cat would mind if Zoie and Zack came up and broke it in a little for ya? ;)

Beth - my Lord, girl, if I got stockings that big, it would cost me mega bucks to fill them. I agree with your "gifts all year" theory as well as focusing on Jesus!

Tamara - hey, girlfriend, thanks for stopping by! What a blessing! Actually, it was the extended family that caused us to start adopting families. Our extended family got SO extended that they were buying gifts for each other that absolutely made no sense. So, I decided to offer a sensible suggestion - if you have to spend money, let's do it where it counts!

Karen - sounds like we're on the same page, chica!

Janie said...

Doozie - well, truthfully, we usually don't get each other gifts, and that amp was so cool last year, he couldn't be anything but pleased! And isn't that the greatest thing about giving? I'll come by and give you a recommendation on a gun - but ya gotta promise to take lessons!

Terri - you know that Pepsi and Sierra are smart, smart, smart! I heard Sierra smoked them at the last field trial...good job!

Panhandle Poet said...


thisisme said...

I like the idea of giving gifts when I see something that I want to give - I love the look on people's faces when I give them an unexpected gift. I'm actually spending tonight deciding which charities I'll be donating to in the name of my family - I always tend to favour education, health and children. A combination of all three is always a winner.

thisisme said...

Oh, and I forgot - of course coathangers are a food group for Zoie - how else do you think you can deal with excess hangers?

Janie said...

Poet - thanks! Have a great holiday season.

Thisisme - me,too. I love that you support charities in your family's name. That's awesome. As to coathangers being a food group for Zoie, she totally agrees. I, however, think it is just crazy.;)

Sandy Kessler said...

I agree Janie and more and more I try to give gifts of the heart all year little gifts people are so surprised and happy ! it feeds me all year.This year I've adopted a family that has lost their home and of course he lost his job as well. Tests of charater I guess. be safe this holiday season sandyibeati

In_spired said...

What an awesome account of your life during the Christmas Season!! This is a wonderful post and one of such inspiration! Blessings to you and your's!