It didn't happen intentionally rather it happened with a growth of self through experience, travel, people, moments, and a beautiful relationship with up above bursting with joy. An awareness into a day that has nothing to do with the four letter word....."gift."
It was so exciting years going to my Grandma's house for Christmas and anxiously waiting til the morning to open up beautifully wrapped boxes. Wrapped in red, green, blue, and white with reindeers, Santa Claus, snowmen, snow flakes, red bows, and ribbon. The curiosity of what would be in that box-something of need or something of want. As a child, who really wanted something of "want"-the toys, the dolls, the jewelry-it felt like Christmas receiving gifts. What would Christmas even be without gifts?
As you get older, the gifts still have a bold presence for Christmas. It's important to buy for children, but adults want that Ipad just as much as children. People are in stores fighting over sales on an Xbox rather than Christmas caroling or standing in church. The gift has dominated the meaning of Christmas and without a religious connection to Christmas-it probably will continue to dominate. It's become overwhelming to me as a religious person who identifies what she needs and what she wants very clearly. This does not mean I don't engage in materialism, but as addressed in many of my blog posts- I know when to disconnect and connect with what I want.
What happened for me is that the needs dominated and opening up a gift became less important overtime because I knew that I don't need gifts. Gifts come and go everyday. I see people in unfortunate situations who could use hundreds of gifts-gifts I can't provide them. Many who are happy just the way they are, my Simply Happy people around the world who live with their basic needs and don't require gifts to make them happy. They may or may not be religious and many are in love with life without materialistic means.
For me, these people are contagious to my spirit. They make me grow and learn about myself-connect me to God, and make me believe in true humanity. Many times traveling I have bought these important gifts for people and they WILL NOT ACCEPT MY GIFTS. Their character and spirit is so beautiful that they can't accept gifts because they feel it's not right. It's not acceptable to accept something that is not theirs and it could be a toy or something they even need, food-they decline. These people decline my gifts and it appears they are lacking so many.
How can I accept gifts at Christmas with all that I have? Some people may think "Oh look at Priscilla holier than now." It's not stepping on a holy pedestal trying to present myself in a certain manner to others or even a decision. It's an internal feeling of discomfort and guilt. Opening up a gift is conforming to a societal norm that Christmas is about materialism and it's something I can't justify in my belief system.
For instance, the previous year I bought my Mom an overload of gifts maybe 15 or so to give to her as much as I could. What I want to do and am quite short of providing. It was the very least I felt I could do. Gifts aren't very important to her either, but watching her face light up makes me keep giving. To know that people feel happiness and contentment with that gift-it is worth "giving."
To be positive, people do give because that face of pure joy is priceless, especially when it's seen on a child, but if people did more giving and less receiving they may feel that same way, "Do I really need this watch when I have five?"
The beauty of gifts is definitely the giving. I remember last year I went above and beyond for ministry, baking, cards, parties, gifts, and felt so good with giving. It's quite a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment when you are able to give and make people feel good especially with a spiritual component attached.
This year was interesting opening the gifts as I literally looked miserable opening the few gifts I was given. I told my Mom that I wanted one thing to open on Christmas Day, but I kept delaying on opening it. It was a scarf and another gift was a blanket-things I need-not so bad. Still, there was a lack of motivation and meaning to even open the few gifts received. But watching her open my gifts made my face fill with such joy. It was the joy I see with "giving" whether it's a gift, a smile, a high five, or help with homework-giving is worth it....
Unfortunately, Priscilla can't engage in the American version of Christmas much anymore. It's just not purposeful with her being that God created. Priscilla doesn't look forward to the decorated, pretty boxes. She thanks the Lord for her natural gifts with people and simply being alive among life's beauty and challenges.
This is not a post to make people feel bad rather it's a post to help people understand me a bit more and to influence people to think about the meaning of the word gift.
How does a gift make you feel?
How many of your gifts are meeting your needs vs. your wants?
What purpose is the gift serving and is this something you are actively going to use?
Are you engaging in materialism and need a break?
Are you a giver?
Do you feel thankful, blessed?
Think a bit about the Simply Happy around the world and how they respond to gifts with the little they have. It's incredible to know that people are just thankful and blessed everyday with five percent of what we have...... PCR