I’ve been having thoughts along these lines, and after I read this post (thanks for the link, merlin!) I nodded and said, “this.”
[many good statements snipped]
“But when all is said and done, what’s important to me is not the gift, but the impulse behind it, which is the true gift. I’m glad you’re thinking of me. I’d be glad of it even without the bauble. That’s a hint.”
It says much of what I’d like to say.
Jeff and I have a similar situation. We have been extraordinarily careful with our finances over the years. Even with the accident two years ago, we’re okay financially. If there’s a thing we want, we make a decision to prioritize it financially. Our “Christmas present” this year to each other is shaping up to be something we’ve longed for, for over a decade: hiring a pipefitter to route natural gas to our kitchen, so we can replace our fully-electric range with an electric oven + gas cooktop.
We’re in good shape, and we’re damned lucky to be where we are right now.
We’re good on “stuff.” Promise. If you don’t believe me, could I borrow you to help move furniture when we’re ready to replace the carpet with hardwood? (We’re getting ready to do that.)
If you’d genuinely like to do something, or get something, here are a few ideas.
- Have I made a quilt for you, or someone in your family? Send me a printed photo of it being used and enjoyed. Bonus points if kids and pets are included. Don’t worry about a frame – I’ll tack it up on my design wall to remind myself of why I make quilts.
- Consumables are awesome. This weekend, Brian mentioned that their basil plants produced in abundance this year, and they made tons of pesto. I noted that frozen cubes of pesto make EXCELLENT gifts, and I wasn’t kidding. I make jam and give it away for the same reason. (I’ll love you even more if you eat the jam and send back the jar!)
- Wag a finger at me and get me to come eat lunch (or dinner) with you. I work from home, and am starting to travel more for work, so it’s easy to get isolated if I’m not careful. Drag me out of the house and poke a sandwich in my mouth.
- Once we’ve redone the flooring, come over and visit with us. Or invite us over. If you’re feeling adventurous, I’ll show you how to prep fabric for paper piecing – it’s easy! – and that’ll mean part of your time spent is immortalized in a quilt.
If you want to do a charity donation, there are several places that are meaningful to us, or we donate to:
- If you want to go global, Heifer International
- If you want to benefit the city and county where I live, the Interfaith Mission Service does good work here.
- The Ark is a local no-kill animal shelter.
- The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is close to my heart, having worked there for five years.
Think of it this way: the single best thing that you can do for me this holiday is something you have already done for me: you have shared part of your life with me. Trust me when I say that it is enough. But if you really want to do something, hopefully these help give you ideas.
I would rather you be joyful and merry this holiday season. Not indebted, not stressed.