By now we have all given elegantly wrapped presents that up until Christmas sat in our homes complimenting our Christmas decorations as they waited to be given. In return, we have received treasures handpicked by those we love that now wait to be used in cardboard boxes and Christmas bags scattered at the bottom of the tree.*
*Of course, this all might just be me. My presents were wrapped a week before Christmas and it takes at least a month before I do more than stare at any of my unwrapped Christmas presents.
There are two things I hate about gifts at Christmastime.*
*Shocked? Yes, there are things that even I dislike about the season of giving.
1. I hate making Christmas lists.
2. I hate the question, “What was your favorite gift?”
There is great hypocrisy in both of these statements and I do intend to explain. After, however, I explain a little about my love language of gifting. If you have never read the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend it as a way of better understanding yourself and those you love.
Most people misconstrue what it means for gifting to be one’s love language. For me, it is not only how I feel loved, but it is also how I express my love to others. It also is nothing about a want for things, but more about expressing love in a tangible item, something that can be seen and felt even when the giver is no longer present. I put careful thought and consideration into each gift I select and wait with high anticipation, watching every expression made, as the recipient unwraps their presents. The goal is more than a hope that they will love it, but also that every time they see it they will be reminded of someone who loves them.
It also means that I share the same excitement in the smallest gift and the most extravagant gift under my tree, making it literally impossible for me to pick one favorite gift out of the mass of gifts I am continually blessed with from family and friends. That question, “What was your favorite gift?” means that I have selected one gift as better-than-the-rest.
I think it is because gifting is my love language that the dislike of Christmas lists and the favorite gift question has been built.
Here is where the hypocrisy comes in. I find myself occasionally asking others, especially Jonathan, about their favorite gift. I also make and sometimes buy from gift lists. And while I have my own running Amazon wish list, I keep it more for things I see and don’t want to immediately buy for myself than as a list for others to buy things for me from.
It is unfortunate that for many gifting has become one giant gift card exchange or an obligatory, “Well, what do you want this year?” instead of “I saw this and it made me think of you”.
I would much prefer the latter.