Christmas is just a few days away, and, now that the holiday is nearing, it seems like time is finally slowing down. A few nights ago, my partner and I gave each other the gifts we had gotten for each other. We set a goal this year of trying to spend less money and only purchasing gifts that were functional. They could be surprises and even funny or unique but they would be practical in one form or another. We didn’t necessarily meet the first goal, though we might have spent a little less given that several of our purchases were on sale, but we embraced our purposeful gift giving very well!
I had initially wondered what it would be like to only focus on practical gifts. Part of me worried it might not be as much fun as before because the surprise factor would be a bit diminished knowing that we had been honest and only mentioned items we needed, which assisted us in giving fewer ideas and thereby having less to buy for each other. How wrong I was! As we sat down to exchange gifts, I realized I was more excited to see her open her gifts than I had been in previous years because I had given them more thought and knew she could use several items regularly.
Likewise, every gift she gave me–we settled naturally on five gifts each–was so thought out that I think I enjoyed this year more than any of our previous years’ Christmases together. Knowing we hadn’t overshopped, something that is so easy to do in today’s consumerist society, and seeing how we were able to be intentional in how we celebrated Christmas together as a couple made the evening all the more enjoyable.
In the end, I had no doubts that this way of gift giving works well for us. And I love how good it felt to know that our gifts were immediately beneficial, making our lives better from the moment we received them. Among our gifts to each other were special snacks and specialty food items, a DVD of a favorite movie, clothes, a book, a Kleen Kanteen metal water bottle, a lunch box with gel packs to keep lunch cold without a fridge, a pint glass, loose leaf tea, and a tea maker. There were a few others, but the theme was the same: functional and practical gifts that we need.
As we set out to see my partner’s family yesterday, we were wearing our new clothes (I already needed my new flannel shirt for the colder weather) and I filled up my water bottle for the drive and put a few cans of pop in the frozen lunch box to keep them cold. And while I’m still learning how to open the growler lid of my forty-ounce Kleen Kanteen, which was plenty for my afternoon ahead, it made me smile to see us already reaping the benefits of a purposeful and intentional gift giving.