Posted in Christmas 2012

Making A Grown Up Christmas List

I love the song, “Grown Up Christmas List”.

It got me thinking hard the other day, as I had it on in my room, and in relation to my post about Longing For A Simpler Time, about my adult Christmas list.

I don’t have a desire for a bunch of “stuff”.  I’m not out Black Friday shopping today, haven’t for several years because the insanity of it all keeps getting worse.  When stores open on Thanksgiving evening, on a holiday employees should be home with family, it kind of makes my stomach turn.  And all these shoppers pushing and shoving to get bargains on things that they do NOT need.  No one NEEDS a 60 inch HD television, that is a want.  No one NEEDS an iPad, again, it is a want.   What if for a change we DID something for people instead of buying something.  Or donated the money we would spend to a charity.

Some ideas:

Free babysitting – every couple with small children knows how pricey a sitter is, not to mention the cost of dinner and a movie.  My grandparents were married “til death do us part”, and it was such a neat thing to see them sitting together in their old age, holding hands.  I learned that they had a regular date night each week, even if that date was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the park.  It was THEIR time, not time to talk about the kids, or work, it was time to recharge them.  Maybe that is why they were so in love and stayed married despite the difficulties they faced over the years.  Know a  young couple with little ones? Why not give them 12 nights of free baby sitting? Once a month take the kids so they can have some time together.  If  you figure up the price of a good sitter, for 4-5 hours each of 12 nights, that is one pricey gift that costs you nothing, yet is priceless because it is your time.

Dinner – how many of us know someone who cannot get out much.  Maybe they simply have a tight budget, or they are single, or a single mom with kids, or maybe an elderly shut in.  So many people would love a home cooked meal outside of their own home if they are able to get out.  Sure, it might mean you have to go and pick them up, but what if, again, once a month you had someone to your table who might not otherwise get out of their home or routine.  So you have some salad and bread to stretch the meal to include one more seat, is it really that big of a hassle?  It could be lunch one Saturday a month, sometimes at home, other times maybe at a park.  If they cannot go out, don’t just take the meal to them, sit down and eat with them. Talk to them, enjoy the time!  There is no way to put a price on a gift like this, for you or that person receiving it!

Read – Have someone on your list who is unable to read because vision is failing? Or they are too young to read? Or they just don’t read much but should.  Why not set aside time to read to them?  Kids love someone to read to them!  So do folks who cannot read for themselves any longer.

Make Something – cookies, dinner, a blanket, find something you can make for someone.    One year my sister made no-sew fleece blankets for the 4 foster kids I was taking care of, because she wanted to do something but couldn’t afford to spend much.  She made each one personal to the child, for the price of some fabric and her time to put them together.  I’ve received cookies and snacks from people as gifts, and believe me I loved those far more than a store bought item because I knew they took time to actually make something for me.  Don’t just make something, add a hand written note with a memory of that person that makes you smile!

Write! – When all else fails, write something!  I had a letter for years from my dad that he wrote to me on my 12th birthday.  He had to be away that year, so he sent me a letter about how much he loved me, and how proud he was of me and WHY.  That letter, even to a 12 year old, meant so much.  Imagine what a letter like that, from your heart, could mean to a friend or loved one?  Money cannot buy what is  in your heart, and having it will be a priceless keepsake for that individual.

Memories  – What if instead of unwrapping presents, we unwrapped memories and shared those around the tree one year? Just the other day, as my sister and I ran an errand, I was telling her that one of my fondest memories of the holidays was one year when all of us, siblings and significant others,  parents and offspring, went to the Festival Of Lights at our zoo.  We all ended up on the train together singing Christmas Carols.  We butchered them as most of us cannot carry a tune strapped to our backs, but it was so much fun.  She laughed and enjoyed the memory with me, having forgotten about it until I brought it up.  What joy could you bring if everyone shared like that instead of sharing a store bought item?  Everyone bring a gift box or bag with their notes about the memory (so they don’t forget parts they want to share) and each take turns reading the memory to everyone present.  Imagine the fun and new memories being made and again, it will cost nothing but time, but the gift to others will be priceless.  It doesn’t have to involve others there, just a memory of something or someone special you want to share with others.  I know, you actually have to sit down together and talk, share….take a deep breath you can do this.

Forgiveness – Who do you hold a grudge against?  Imagine the gift not only to the person, but yourself, if you forgave them and reconciled a relationship?  Over the years I have done this a few times, and always the outcome was positive.  One that stands out was my first husband, after a very ugly divorce and custody fight.  I not only forgave him a court ordered debt that year, but I extended an olive branch his way.  It made the growing up years of my son so much better when his parents could get along for his sake.

Between now and Christmas, I’m going to start a grown up Christmas list.  Like the 30 days of thankfulness I’ve been keeping, each day leading up to Christmas I’m going to add an  item to my wish list for this Christmas.  They won’t really be things Santa could bring, or someone could purchase for me.  They will be things that  have meaning, wishes that I’ve carried in my heart.  I would  love  to see my fellow blog buds do this too, as so many of you that read my posts have often inspired me.

Here  is the song that got me thinking about my grown up Christmas list. The lyrics first and then one of my favorite versions sung by Amy Grant.

“My Grown Up Christmas List”

Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies
Well, I’m all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child
But my heart still can dream
So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown up christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
and wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list
As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree
Well heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list
What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
(there’d be)
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh
This is my grown up christmas list
This is my only life long wish
This is my grown up christmas list

2 thoughts on “Making A Grown Up Christmas List

  1. Just fabulous! love this. and that song is so awesome…one of my faves.
    Would love someone to give us free babysitting!! With one income, we often still cannot go out much because we can’t afford dinner, movie, AND the babysitter for 3 kids! We’ve learned to live with simpler things too. Or wait for one of the grandmas to be available.
    Some families at my church are doing a child care swapping this year so that the parents can get Christmas shopping done with. Normally my hubby would watch the kids and I’d do all the shopping. Then the wrapping and the hiding and the laying under the tree. Which is soooo stressful each year to do it all by myself. (Left Brain often has to work the holidays, given his job.) So this was a great idea! We’ll watch someone’s children so they can shop together, and then they will watch ours.
    Although, my hubby would rather have his nose hairs pulled out then step foot in a mall, so we’ll see how that goes. LOL

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