My family and I have the same conversation every year around October. That conversation usually goes something to the casual tune of, “So…. what would you like for Christmas….”
We’ve done it all from secret santa to just being stalker-ish for about 6 months or so, but recently my mom had to tell me in a semi-flustered tone that she had purchased something for me already because I hadn’t indicated what I wanted.
Let’s rewind a bit.
About three weeks prior to that moment, she asked me what I wanted and I told her I would think about it. I thought for what seemed like ages and I could think of nothing. I am not sure whether this was because of content, melancholy, or a combination of the two, but here I was weeks before Christmas without a single thing I wanted except time.
Now, back to the conversation.
As she told me that she had purchased something in her uncertainty, I considered where she was coming from; gifts are a thing we do. I waited a moment after she finished and I spoke my mind in this way:
I’m sure whatever you have gotten me will be fine; you usually pick things I like for gifts. I really just had a hard time thinking of something I wanted. I make enough money that I don’t need or want many things and when I think of things I want, I think about places I want to go or people I want to see. It is rare that I truly want things these days. What I want is time with all of you and to just enjoy that. I can’t have more of that. I can’t buy that. That time that I have is enough. Anything else is a bonus.
Sometimes, I think this is hard for my mom to conceptualize, but she’s getting the hang of it where it relates to me and it makes things easier in a lot of ways. She knows that I don’t need more than I have, so we can just be with each other and it is really okay.
And this, I think, is the best part of Christmas and just holidays in general. In the end, it’s all about giving of our being, not of things.