Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday gifting when you're under the weather

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Christmas is the season during which we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  It is a beautiful time of year with lots of caroling, beautiful church services, and time with family and friends.  For some, gifts are incidental to the meaning of Christmas.

Nevertheless, for most of us, Christmas also includes gifting, even if it's a small gift.  If you are organized about your gifting, you probably had Christmas gifts all bought and wrapped last July.  But if you're like the rest of us, well, you didn't.

Okay, so now you're going to need gifts for family and friends, but you've been down with the crud for over a week and time is drawing short.  In addition, some of the gifts have to be mailed across the country.  What about the baking and the decorating??What is a mother to do? 

I'm in this exact situation this year--I'm slowly getting better, but Christmas is 8 days away and I still need to get a few gifts.  Here's my plan:

1.  Lower the bar  There is no law that says that Christmas has to be this all out theatrical production every year (or any year!)  Give yourself to permission to do less or even nothing if you're too sick.  I usually bake sugar cookies with the kids (my "kids" are 17 years and older!) but maybe this year we won't.  Or maybe we'll do slice and bake cookies.  Or maybe they will bake them and I'll "supervise".

2.  Have the kids decorate  Give up a little control and let the kids do it--they will get more joy out of it (unless they're sick, too) and you can practice your "letting go" skills.  You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

3.  Log on  The internet makes it darn easy to do nearly all of your shopping from home.  Log on to just about any store and you can choose your gift, have it wrapped and delivered in no time.  Include gift receipts so that picky family members (you know who you are...) can return them after Christmas.

4.  Gift cards  Honestly, gift cards are so easy to do these days.  You can buy them anywhere and many times you even get discounts off the purchase price if you buy a minimum amount. 

5.  Postpone Christmas  It might sound "Scrooge-y" but it does work if you get everyone to go along.  You can postpone your gift exchange for a week or so after Christmas.  We've postponed Christmas by a few days before when the kids were little and we had relatives who had to work on Christmas.  It worked out great.  PLUS you get the clearance prices on gifts if you haven't finished all your shopping.

6.  Focus on the reason  Use this time as an opportunity to focus on God's gift of his only son, sent to redeem us from sin.  Reflect on what that means to you and your family.  Read the story of the birth of Christ in Luke's gospel.  Count all the blessings you've had in the past year.

If you have other ideas for enjoying the Christmas Season when you're not feeling well, I'd love to hear about them!

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