Or why gift giving is magical
Christmas 2016 was the first year I wasn’t looking forward to the 25th for the presents I’d get, but I was looking forward to giving the presents I’d got for others. On the eve of my birthday, that feeling has revisited me. Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to the gifts I’m going to get, but I’m more looking forward to taking my Mum to Kew Gardens for the day [yes, I want to go there too but she’s never been!] I think that feeling is a combination of 2 things: being more mature and, for the first time, having a salary job aka spare dollar!
In the preceding years, I’d either been a poor student [I can hear your tiny violins from here] or working on a zero hour contract, so cash wasn’t abundant.That and I was living away from home, so didn’t really see what little things I could buy/make to help out my family.
I’ve been living at home since I graduated [July 2014, coming up for 2 years now!], and since then I’ve helped out with practical things like the shopping or pet food. Having scored a full time job, my eyes [and my inner shopper] lit up, I’d have almost treble what I was used to. Aside from frivolous purchases for myself I started buying little things for my parents. You can’t find a lighter? Have a pack of 50. The cold has chapped your hands? Here’s a Burt’s Bees set. Although the buying was obvs fun, I found it was the time I took to make gifts that gave the most joy. You’ve seen a painting/craft item you like? Never fear, Rose is here: a bead-adorned heart window charm and a wisteria painting were two projects I enjoyed most [I’ve spent a while practicing, this wasn’t the first go. Maybe some other time I’ll post my failures.]
Then it struck me: the happiest I’d seen my parents was when they were out and about doing things [read: anything garden related and coffee shops] How could I get the ultimate face-lighting-up experience?
Last year I decided that experiences were more valuable than material items, so I became focused on getting days out and holidays for family. We’ve been to the Edible Garden Show and the Chelsea Flower Show, to name but two.
You might be wondering: what’s the most extravagant this girl has gone? If you’re not, skip on ahead. I saved hard through my time at Amazon, meaning I had cash to get Mum a cruise and my sister Las Vegas for her 21st. Granted, I do get to go on the trips too, and my sister is booking all the trips for when we’re in Nevada. Oh, and the cruise is for over 40s, so I am going to be the youngest person there by about 15 years [when I booked it I had to call them up and ask if, as I was 25 when we’d be going and I’d be with my Mother, it was ok for me to come along].
Yes, the above is a bit of a humble brag [ok, maybe not so humble], and booking those kind of trips as a present is a luxury/extravagant/a bit stupid, perhaps.
To me, I earned that money, saved as much as I could and made the decision to spend the majority of it rather than save. I am also aware how fortunate I am to have had a job that pays well, allowing me to have the dollar to do that. All I’m trying to say, though, is that it’s the thought that goes into a gift rather than the £££ of it of it that makes giving gifts wonderful.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Let me know!
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