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Christmas Presents: Materialistic or Miracle-istic

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on December 19, 2018 19:42

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Is it the present that matters or the thought that counts. For me, sometimes the thought costs a bit more than expected.

This time of year always brings out the same debate: has Christmas become too commercialized? Parents seem to go into hock just to make sure their kids can boast about the great presents when they meet up with friends at school.

Marketing during the holidays is on overdrive and those who celebrate - especially with young kids - can get swept up in it all. For me, Christmas was always an excuse to spoil my son - right or wrong. He got something I knew he wanted but I wouldn’t justify buying at any other time.

This was certainly the case more often when he was in elementary school. It was early in my writing career and I rarely had a lot of expendable cash. As a single mom, it was important to me to make Christmas magical. That was when Santa really existed - the miracle of finding a way to give my son something special.

I’d pick up a few extra gigs and work a few extra hours to find a way. The reality is the expense was often because of the uniqueness of the present he wanted. Like the year he was desperate to find a “Kashyyyk Clone Storm Trooper” in a LEGO Star Wars set. Maybe that sounds simple, except it was several years discontinued and out of the LEGO lineup. 

Thanks to the internet and a 150% markup from its original price, Santa brought something my son didn’t think was possible. His awe was as much a gift to me as the LEGO was a gift to him.

While I agree that we shouldn’t fall into the traps of materialistic things over the holidays, I don’t regret the effort or costs that have gone into Santa’s gifts over the years. Ironically for all the materialistic things he received over the years, my teen is now far removed from the hubbub of getting gifts. 

When taking him shopping this year, “Oh yeah, Christmas is in a week or so.” When I asked him what we should get my grandmother, he asked to go to the bookstore - he had an idea. It was a curious idea since Grandma’s eyesight isn’t so good anymore.

But the explanation made sense. Every week we go to the farmers market and he picks unique fruits and vegetables that he then shares with her. They talk about seasons, resources and favorites. His present idea for her - an illustrated book about edible plants. Something he can discuss with her.

Maybe a $25 book for a 100-year old lady who has trouble with her eyes is a little much. But the real gift here is the conversation a 16-year old will have with the family matriarch. 

As that great marketing campaign of MasterCard reminds us, the spirit in that gift: priceless.

I already got my gift right there. May you find your own little miracle this season.

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on December 19, 2018 19:42

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Source: TVGuide.com

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