Just like the title, it is hard to swallow. I am not one of those who will tell you, it’s fine, no gifts, no presents it’s fine. You being there is more than enough.
Just no! Inviting you to a party meant I am taking my precious time out of the day and some of my hard earned cash to throw this fabulous party for you and our friends. At this point, you must be thinking I am some self-centred and self-absorbed person and to say the least, selfish. However, I would like to think I was being realistic. Everything has to be earned and everything else that is pretty cost money right?
For as long as I can remember, Christmas is all about giving and the biggest present that was sitting under that tree was mine (Not that I really knew). Since young, Christmas, birthdays meant boxes and boxes of nicely wrapped presents and size mattered!
Just last week, I went to a family’s friend baby boy’s (Dylan) first birthday party and I was pleasantly surprise. At the door, it wrote, ‘Your presence is the best gift you could give us’. Suddenly, the fancy 1985 Merlot in my hands that was brought all the way from Australia that I wanted to surprise her for pushing that 12 pounds baby out of her after carrying it for almost 40 weeks doesn’t feel that fancy anymore. I felt dumb and out of sort, like do I hide the Merlot in the free space in my bra now or do I roll the Merlot on the floor and say I’ve found her favorite choice of liquor right outside her door. As she came in through the door and greeted my mom and I, I attempted to hand over the Merlot in the least awkward manner ever. She said, “oh you really shouldn’t have but let’s share it later shall we?”
As much as I wanted to decline and tell her it’s for her own consumption and it wasn’t necessary to ‘share’ it right now, I was really curious and really wanted to know more about the note she pasted right smack on her front door.
Right at this point, I would definitely call it liquid courage as I dive into my curiosity. So... why no gifts? We are celebrating aren’t we? Don’t you want your friends and family to spoil you and your family with their love?
No toys? No presents? Why? I guess you can say, I am trying to teach my family to appreciate the people around us without the need of physical gifts or items for that matter. How could we ever possibly utilize all of these different toys that the departmental store will offer every other day, it will be a never ending race of buying the next best toy if we don’t set our head in the right place. More gifts don’t add more substance in my life, it honestly just means more purging to do as Dylan grows out of all the toys.
Time is speeding ahead of us like a Tokyo’s High Speed Rail and if we are not careful, we can get so caught up with counting every present we receive that it is going to be a never-ending tiresome process. I want to spend time with you, with my girlfriends, my husband and my little baby boy to appreciate the things we already have.
However, you know what I really appreciate? Gift cards. Some of our family members insisted that we tell them what we really need or what Dylan really need so I told them to get us a gift card of their choice. So they did, and that’s how we actually furnished Dylan’s entire room. It is minimalist and somehow humbly when you step in there, you would think there wouldn’t be a toy in sight, but there were cute little stuff animals laying around beside Dylan’s bed and many many children’s storybooks that Dylan have to have the Dad read before he goes to sleep every night.
Gift cards are as far as we will go. It is easy, hassle free, it keeps what we want and what we need into perspective, it keeps us in budget and there is a 3 months’ expiry date in almost all the gift cards so we don’t have to worry about going online or to the stores to make a purchase immediately.
After all, gift cards allow us to have more options and the thought of the gift cards is all that matters, even if it was $10.
That glass of Merlot taught me a valuable life lesson than all the other Merlots I’ve ever had.