Holidays Reflections Slowing Down

It’s the Thought that Counts?

Not sure if it’s my growing age or my evolving cynicism, but over the last couple of years, I have experienced a lapse in my normal amount of gratitude.

I typically consider myself a pretty thankful person: thankful for surprise visits, for time spent helping me with homework, and for freshly baked brownies. Thankful that Husband folds my clothes in an adorable way, thankful that my mother-in-law bought me a wedding ornament, and thankful that my friends surprised me with a beautiful flowers when I was up late studying.

Christmas Present, The Love Bungalow

So, what am I not thankful for? More fuzzy socks. Mugs. Cheap lotions. Generic cookie mixes. Homemade candy that looks like poop. The annual Family Christian Store clearance CD.

But I keep telling myself, “It’s the thought that counts”, say “That was so nice of you!”, and add the mug to my Goodwill collection while throwing out the candy.

But then, I wonder: was it actually thoughtful? In the era of Pinterest, Etsy, craft bazaars, and adorable boutiques, can anyone truly get away with the mass produced “Made in China” lotion and generic hot chocolate mix? And then I start to think: was the giver actually thinking of me or just thinking of making their holidays easier, cheaper, and more efficient? And if we are at a point where we need to make Christmas easier and more efficient, I wonder if we are doing something wrong.

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Photo by Pexels, Creative Commons

So, here’s what I’m doing: I’m not baking cookies for the neighbors. I’m not making baskets for house church. I’m not taking mugs to my co-workers. I’m not buying anything for that random friend that I’ll see for our annual holiday lunch. I’m buying thoughtful, personalized gifts for my immediate family and calling it “Christmas”. I need to be fully present way more than my co-workers need my cheap presents.

Silent, stress-free night for me. (But I’ll still say “thank-you” if you buy me more fuzzy socks).

Lindsay Sig

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18 comments on “It’s the Thought that Counts?

  1. Love it! We’re keeping the gift giving to a minimum this year for just that reason. We’ve all got plenty of stuff. I’ll take a thoughtful card over something someone bought because they felt obligated to give me something.

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  2. What a great post- definitely gets you thinking for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thebeelife

    Preach! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the idea of Christmas and wanting to give, give, give … so that you don’t feel guilty! Thank you for the wonderful reminder! Merry Christmas!

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  4. I’ll bet being more truthful to yourself will make this holiday season more enjoyable.
    Stay healthy and happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Proper Place of Excess | From guestwriters

  6. Have totally been feeling the same lately! Loved this post!

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  7. What a great down to earth post. Thank you for opening up my eyes. x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Really loved this, Lindsay. I am on the same path! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so true! It’s easy to feel like you have to get everyone you’ve ever had contact with something for Christmas. Of course, it’s difficult to say that it was completely un-thoughtful, because even buying cheap lotion takes time and some effort/thought. But, I agree…. less is more. A smaller yet more thoughtful gift always touches my heart much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, I think Christmas has gotten out of control as far as the expenses one must incur to get expensive gifts. However, I do not have a lot of money this year but am a giver. I love giving people gifts and make a lot myself throughout the year just so I don’t have a huge expense to incur in December.
    I’m sure while my gifts are inexpensive, I never gave chocolates that look like poop. Hahaha. That made me smile. I do have a suggestion for your overstock of fuzzy socks and lotion made in china. I get many lotions but I don’t like lotion. Haha. I say thankyou too, but never use them. So, a few years ago I decided to scotch tape a sticky note onto the bottle with the name of the person who gave it to me. This way I don’t return it to them the following year. Lol.
    I make baskets that I get at the dollar store. Then cut up a poinsettia plant and place one into the front of the basket. The baskets are themed. So a kitchen basket can have hand lotion , dish towel, oven mitt etc and put in a clear basket bag and tied with a pretty ribbon. The bathroom baskets can have bath salts, lotion, washcloths, and a candle etc. You get the idea.
    People love getting these( or say they do lol) but I only give the lotion to people I know use lotion. Be it special coworkers, friends, family members. I too do not feel the need to buy everyone I know a present but to answer your question about whether or not the person was really thinking of you or trying to make Christmas easy, I think yes to both things. Each basket I make has a particular person in mind. So I am thinking of them. And the stuff is brand new but I will never use it so I’m making Christmas easy for me too.
    The mugs? I used to have a gazillion, till I started giving those away as gifts for all occasions depending on the mug theme. I’d line with thick plastic and place a potted plant I made from my garden cuttings and place in the mug. This way if the person wanted to keep the mug they could and they’d have a nice plant. 🙂 I enjoyed your blog. Thanks for the like and for following my site. Happy 2016

    Liked by 3 people

  11. How did it go? I must admit to being surprised that you’d buy gifts for acquaintances or seldom-seen friends. I suspect it’s a cultural difference.

    In my family, it’s common to buy souvenirs when traveling and give them at Christmas. I told my friends that I wasn’t buying any gifts for them this year. I told my immediate family that I wouldn’t be giving presents to the adults and the children were each getting something small. It went over well.

    BTW had to laugh at your description of “Family Christian Store sale CD” – because one of my nieces was very happy to see I’d found an older CD she didn’t have in the discount bin! lol

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