08 December 2011

The Challenges of Christmas Shopping and Giving

Tim and I have been working on our Christmas shopping.  This year, I'm being a stickler about the budget for many reasons. Mostly, because we don't really have the extra to spend, but also because I feel like we don't need to. 

We are so blessed in our lives.  Tim has a good job that provides not only the necessities of life, but also some of the luxuries.  We have a very nice warm home.  The kids definitely  have what they need and want.  I also have what I need and want.

As we've tried to come up with ideas for Christmas gifts for ourselves and the kids, we've kinda been stumped.  Tim says that he buys stuff for himself all year round so he doesn't want anything.  The kids haven't really had many suggestions.  So,  I've been trying to be creative with our shopping.  And trying to talk Tim out of spending $23 for a set of measuring cups.  :)  Not that I don't need a new set of measuring cups...I just think $23 for a set of measuring cups might just be a LITTLE pricey.

Tim took care of Kyra's shopping so she's all done.  Rylan has been much trickier this year.  He's right at the age when he's getting too old for toys, but he's not ready for the typical teenage gifts.  Plus, he's growing SO fast, that it's hard to get him any clothes or shoes because I'm fairly certain that he'll grow out of them within 2 months.  I think we're almost done with him, but I'm hoping he'll like what we've got for him.

We haven't bought anything for Kona yet.  I'm still hunting for a gift for my parents.  We're done with Eric and Karen.  I still need to get my neighbor gifts together, but I know who and what I'll be giving.  I just need to get it together and do some shopping and baking.  We still need to come up with something for Tim's parents. 

The shopping has definitely been challenging this year.

One of the other reasons we're cutting back this year is because of the commercialization of Christmas.  I'm SO glad Christmas is on a Sunday this year.  I love going to church Christmas morning.  I love singing the Christmas hymns and I love having that focus on Jesus Christ throughout the day.  I'm hoping to keep that spirit in our home by really paying attention to it and not focusing so much on the gifts under the tree.  Plus, we don't have the kids until Christmas afternoon/evening, so they'll have already opened presents at their mom's and extended families.

Anyways, the last thing I wanted to mention about gifts and shopping is a quote that our Stake Presidency put in their Christmas letter.  It talks about gift giving and I love it!  It says,

"In 1906, on Christmas day, Orson F. Whitney, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke at the tabernacle in Salt Lake City.  He spoke of three essentials to consider when giving gifts:

The gift should not impoverish the giver.  While designed to promote the happiness of the one who receives it, it should also give happiness to the one who bestows.  Therefore it should be such a gift as the giver can afford to give, one that will benefit in the highest sense the bestower, and one that will exemplify the truth of the divine declaration: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' (Acts 20:35.)

The gift should be appropriate - suited to the time, the place, the person, and the condition...

Lastly, and firstly, and all the time, it should be given ungrudgingly, not for policy's sake, nor to conform to any mere custom of fashion, it should be an expression of pure friendship, of exalted affection, and the giving should be heartfelt and sincere. ...Well and wisely has it been said: 'The best Christmas gift is not the one that costs the most money, but the one that carries with it the most love.'"  

I feel like we've followed this counsel this year and I feel like its going to be a great, if I can just get in the mood to bake, we'll be all set.  


Barb said...

Great advice whether it be 1906 or 2011! Merry Christmas, AJ.