Not buying gifts for each other turned out to be weird. Waking up on Christmas day with no packages to open, no surprises, and no oohing and aahing over gifts made yesterday seem like somehow we had ended up on the moon.
On Monday, I suggested going out and spending no more than $10 on each other, or at the most $20. But after we asked each other what we wanted, neither of could think of anything we needed, so we axed that idea. The court is still out on whether we should ask each other for suggestions for gifts, or just surprise each other.
I admit that I really thought that Douglas would buy me a gift, as I was the brains behind a “no-celebration Christmas,” and he gets such a kick out of seeing my face when I open gifts. I got up all excited as always, and, alas, the Christmas tree stood as empty of gifts as it was of decorations.
I would have even liked more hats and gloves, which he buys me every year, but of different colors, so it’s okay. Instead, I accompanied him to disc golf, walking and trying to read a Kindle e-reader at the same time. Yet, we were together, and that was what mattered to me.
We called all of the kids and wished everyone we could get in touch with a happy day. We received Merry Christmas greetings and hopes for a great 2019. But it was not the same as when we are with children and grandchildren, seeing what each child received, and learning what are the latest toys and desired gifts. It turned out that Christmas was a caricature of what we the day was meant to be.
Even more strange was the absence of children in the streets on bicycles or skates, and there are children in at least five of the ten homes in our cul-de-sac. Empty streets on Christmas day added to the feeling of being in the Twilight Zone. Today, many gifts are more geared toward playing inside, and seems to coincide with the desire to isolate ourselves from our neighbors, so unlike when I was growing up.
But, I am thankful for the gifts in my life, my husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Of course, I include friends and church family, so I am not despondent about a very strange Christmas.
Yet, we both agreed that we will return to our traditions, spending the day with family, getting full on Christmas candy and the camaraderie of family and friends, and boxing up all of our gifts to bring home and enjoy throughout the year. These are indications of the love we have for each other and our families.
Christmas is really about a love so great that it was shared with the world in the form of a little baby boy, who would one day demonstrate His own tremendous and unfailing love by dying for our salvation and an opportunity for eternal life. I have to remember that next year. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the day.