"Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them,
not the merits of who receives them."
-Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
Today I am thankful that I have all my Christmas shopping done, and there are still eighteen days, sixteen hours left until we celebrate. I do still have a few gifts in transit, but I do not have anything left to buy.
Now the difficulty will be to resist the rest of the sales that are happening and not buying anything more. I love giving gifts to SC and AC, and have a hard time seeing things that they would like and not just getting them. We really wanted to cut down on what we were buying for ourselves this year, because the past four years have been beyond ridiculous when it comes to present-opening time. We tried to just keep it simple, but I think next year we are going to try something like "need/want/read/wear" because it will be even better to have that specific focus. We still overbought this year, in my opinion, for ourselves, and I think it was because our guideline was "maybe one bigger gift, and then stocking stuff." There is quite a bit that has counted as "stocking stuff," though I am pleased we definitely did better than in years past.
The point of cutting down the quantity of Christmas gifts for ourselves was so that we could be good stewards of the blessings God has given us, and to give to those who otherwise would have nothing. So, this year we adopted three angels (one whole family) from the Salvation Army Angel Tree program. The reason we chose this program is because not only is it local, but instead of just collecting toys, it gives both a "need" and a "want" for each child, as well as lists clothing and shoe sizes for each child and permits the gifting of things not on the list, like socks, underwear, jackets and other items they might need, but are not their number one need. I would really encourage those of you who are looking for a way to bless others to look for the Salvation Army Angel Tree program local to your home.
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