We are on vacation; I am nursing a cold virus; we have our medical resident husband/dad all to ourselves; and we are preparing for Christmas. (Hence my 3-day vacation from blogging.)
On the subject of Christmas: I love to give gifts. I really love it. And, honestly, I feel like most of the time I give meaningful gifts and feel that people appreciate them; and sometimes, though rare, I know without a doubt that I have given someone "the perfect gift."
This time of year is particularly stressfulf for me because I desperately want to give "the perfect gift" to ALL of the people I love - at once. The enormity of the task seems to ruin my creativity, (oh, and I've tried to prepare all year long for Christmas, but people's needs and wants changed too quickly!), and probably 78% of the time I end up giving gifts that deep down I know people don't really "need."
Yesterday in church one of the speakers highlighted a talk giving by President Henry B. Eyring. He gave three suggestions to becoming a good gift giver:
1. Give a gift that somehow shows someone that you "know their heart," understand them, and that you care about them.
2. Gift the gift freely, because it brings you joy.
3. Give a gift that reveals some amount of sacrifice on your part.
So, I am now renewed in my determination to give good gifts this Christmas to the people I love. (I wish this had hit me a few weeks ago, rather than the resignation that settled in slowly as I accepted the fact that we couldn't afford much more than cards for our loved ones.) But, regardless of the stress of this time of year or lack of finances, it is wonderful to aim for the chance to give others meaningful gifts, regardless of their price tag; particularly gifts that require a bit of personal sacrifice from us - because we love them and know that our gifts will bring them joy and remind them of how well we know and understand them. Truly, the opportunity to think outside ourselves and instead deep down inside someone else, and try to meet their needs if even in a small way and sacrifice for them, this inevitably brings true and lasting happiness.