When my younger brother and I got old enough for our parents to be more creative with gift giving (i.e. no more toys!), we agreed on a new rule: the gift given needs to be more meaningful and thought-filled than a 6 hour trip to a sardine packed mall. Easy enough, right? In the beginning, not so much. None of us seemed to know what anyone else liked to do, and no one thought they were creative enough to make something and gift from the heart. Then there was the disappointment on the big morning; not only were the presents smaller, but there were less too! What happened to the Christmases past which had piles of gifts flowing out from under the tree? Where were the boxes so big they couldn’t fit under the tree in the first place? They, along with the piles of dusty (and forgotten) things in the attic, were all traded in for home-made gifts and events that would eventually (after a couple of years of practice) leave a trail of photos and memories behind. The biggest gift that year was learning and understanding that getting a present isn’t about what you have waiting for you under the tree; it’s about what you have waiting for you beyond the front door. Since that first year, whenever anyone in the family is asked the inevitable question, “What do you want for Christmas?” the automatic answer is, “Give me a memory.” This year, if you are shopping last minute and you’re stuck on what to get someone, bypass the usual cash within a card or generic gift card and take that person to do something they love. Share a new memory, take tons of photos and create a Christmas you won’t forget!
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