The Gift of Giving – The Fourth Holiday Mental Moment

It’s beginning to look a  lot like Christmas dum de dum da dee….

diddle e bum day da dee de do …

Oh sorry, I didn’t see you there, I was just

you know humming along while I look for gifts.  I usually end up humming because when I sing outright – people look at me funny.

Pile of gorgeous gifts

I have been informed by the Gaggle, it is unacceptable to do it in their presence to which I tell them to suck eggs and I  sing louder.

One benefit is that I get to go shopping alone – without making up excuses and it comes in handy this time of year.  I can only say “crazy” so many times in response to “where are you going mom?” before they want to come along too.  So I tell them I am going out to sing and that takes care of it.

I am never sure whether any Christmas will be a good giving year or a not so thrilled one.

What I mean is that some years I am so darn excited for it to be Christmas Morning, just like when I wa a kid, except for one difference.

I can’t wait to give the gifts I selected and wrapped for my kids and my family.

When the kids were babies, the gifts mattered not, it was the paper and the wonder and the sugar right?

But there are older kids and grown ups in my family that are impossibly difficult to get a gift for because they just are. or they have a lot, or they won’t give a list and you have to hurt yourself coming up with the best gift that will get used and enjoyed and appreciated.

There is an art to it and some people just are givers.

Today’s Holiday Mental Moment …

is about gifts and the thought and how the true spirit and magic  of Christmas is in the giving not the receiving so much.

See there has to be some magic in the receiving because that is how the giver knows they got the right gift.

It is better to give than to receive but if you receive well then you have given back.

How about them sugarplums dancing in your heads?  I will let you have that one to think over I can’t spell it all out then what fun would it be?  How mental?  Ok then

Let’s move on…

Let me tell you a story of a Christmas long past to illustrate how being a giver and not dwelling on the receiving part of Christmas can bring you peace and goodwill and all that happy …  egg nog and …  stuff

A story that will warm your heart with its ability to transcend the commercial gimmes of the Holiday Season..  Fa lalalala tsch  (cymbal, just saying for those that didn’t hear it)

Once upon a time ..

never mind, that’s a load of crap because once upon a time ends with happily ever after.

Oh not that this one doesn;t end that way, it is just of a more ongoing story.  Never ending. Yet. The jury is still out on the happily ever after part.

I am just going to relate a very small bit of it, yes I am stalling to try to gather it from the cobwebbed up storage shed in my mind ok?  Gimme a minute it is worth it.

What brought this particular bit of history to mind today is my children, they are bouncing off the walls because they went Christmas shopping and picked things out all on their own and they can not wait to give their gifts to the intended recipients.  Reminds me of two other smallish children and the dilemma they faced when trying to pick out a gift for their mom the first time they did it on their own, then the ensuing excitement of having her open the most (im)perfect present ever.

What taught me that giving is the spirit that moves Christmas, not getting, so much.

My brother and I were children in elementary school and my dad took us to the mall and set us loose in a kitchen store to find a gift for our mom.  Neither one of us knew what to get her so we started looking over the huge display of gadgets and gizmos for her kitchen.  Half of them were beyond our grasp of understanding, and another bunch were too expensive, but there were several bins with things that fell right in our price range and after some debating and arguing, maybe a push and a shove, but most likely not, it just adds some excitement to the whole story right?  And I lost where I was…


After some debating and discussing different things we finally agreed that the absolute perfect gift for our mom that year was a meatballer.

It looked like scissors with big half scoops on each side that when you brought them together formed a ball.  It did not occur to either of us that my mother had never once made meatballs in our young lives, she just added ground meat to spaghetti sauce.  But this was the perfect gift, it would make her life easier and it wa pretty cool looking too.

It wasn;t until Christmas morning as my brother and I sat lost amongst the piles of wrapping paper that I started to doubt the perfectness of our gift.  One reason was that on Christmas morning, we opened all out Santa gifts and then exchanged gifts with each other and there were four of us and my brother and i had buckets from Santa, my mom had gotten my dad a gift and also taken care of gifts from us for him and she had two presents under the tree.

One from my dad and the meatballer.  I felt bad for my mom, sad even that she didn’t get to open a gazillion gifts and felt that small thing called doubt creeping in, wondering if the fact she only got two and one might not have been such a great idea in relation to the number of gifts she didn;t get to open…

I mentioned I felt bad and she laughed and said not to.  She was loving watching us open our gifts and that was enough for her.  (That is something I learned as a mother.  One of those loose bits of info floating around with no home until I had kids of my own then it snapped onto place.)  Well in that case, we scored with our gift, and presented it to her proudly.  She opened it and I don’t remember the look on her face, or exactly what she said but I know she exuded a feeling of gratitude and joy and we felt like we got her the best gift.

The meatballer had a place in the gadget drawer among the cooking forks nd spoons and measuring cups, you know stuff she used, and never once in all the 30 plus years she had it did it touch an actual meatball.  when we were older, we laughed about the stupid thing, realizing full well that Mom could have gotten rid of it at anytime, or given it away, especially after we left for college and stuff.  Instead, she kept it.  And she says it was the best Christmas present. Ever.

Because she did what she did, because she is into Christmas for the spirit of giving, and received gracefully a gift that she had no use for, because she truly did cherish it for the simple fact it was given from our little naive hearts and even though we missed the mark, all we wanted was to pick out the perfect gift, it was the perfect example and now a symbol of the spirit of giving and giving back.  See how I did that there?  Back to the thought of giving receiving and giving back, the gift that keeps on giving.

My kids are wrapping presents today.  We are celebrating with them tomorrow because they are going to their dad’s house for Christmas for the first time.

They can hardly contain their excitement and each of us knows what the others are getting because they are thrilled to show off their choices and can’t wait for some response until tomorrow.  While I can tell you, they have missed the mark on a few of the gifts, it doesn’t matter.

The spirit of Christmas is in these children, a bit like the force if you can picture it like that, (or hear ObiOneKanobi saying “The force is strong in these two – you know how I love my sound effects )  and they have learned already that giving is fun.  Maybe more so than getting.

My mother gave me the giving heart and my children have it too.

That;s a gift you can’t buy anywhere and will last a whole lifetime.  And keep on giving.

And a little food for thought or thought for your day, how many times has someone given you a gift who you never expected one from and it has caused you undue stress because well you didn’t get them one and oh what will they think..blah blah blah… (not to make it less of an issue)  it happens all the time and its one of the pitfalls of the commercialism we are immersed in today during the holidays.  Here is something you might want to do if it happens this year, instead of worrying or running out and buying some inane bit of stuff just so you have something to give them back…

Smile and say thank you, and be grateful.  That person is a giver and gets their joy from giving and seeing your joy.  Believe me the ones in it for the sake of getting something back, you would know they had a present for you well before, so just say thank you, enjoy it.  that is the best thing you could give back to them.  I happen to know that the giver will be pleased and that will be the best gift ever .  True Story.

Christmas Vacation is one of my favorite all time movies – it won’t be the last time you see it here this season I am sure… Just because it is entertaining.

Here is Aunt Bethany, and her special brand of gift giving.

May we be blessed with plenty of love, in the form of giving, receiving and giving back, or however it comes to us this holiday season

And hey all you givers out there – please bear with me as I do a shameless plug – I have to I mean, what good is a doomsday device if you don;t tell the world?  Ok that was from my dad’s favortie movie – Check out the new Page TEAM LIZZIE!  Gift ideas and to buy – links to other places and if you have a store or something of that nature – feel free to leave your link in the comments – I will post them all later….   thank you back to the end of our program..

oh really is the end.. haha

To your Mental State, whatever it may be…


23 thoughts on “The Gift of Giving – The Fourth Holiday Mental Moment

  1. Lizzie, this is a wonderful post! I always felt the spirit in the giving, because receiving was difficult for me, but now I understand that receiving well is the best gift to someone I love. I remember one Christmas when I was about ten, I picked out a gaudy black glass and gold metal brooch for my Mom. Her eyes lit up and she loved it. I never thought of that brooch again until I was at her place in Florida when she was in her seventies, and she brought it out to show me. My eyes lit up this time, with tears of love. She had saved it in her fancy jewelry box all those years, and wanted to share the gift of what it meant to her with me.
    Enjoy your Christmas with your family tomorrow, Lizzie, you are a giver of many gifts.

  2. My grandmother became Aunt Bethany. The only difference? She did not wrap things from around the house. She wrapped cases of things from QVC. Similar effect.

    Happy Christmas, Lizzie. I am sure you will have a ball with all the near misses and dead on gifts from the kiddles.

    Much love,

    1. Mine was Aunt bethany as well and the boxes of stuff that never got wrapped – from QVC when she died was mnd boggling.. some of it from when my grandpa wa alive – he was the real home shopper lol. As lomg as the kids are happy – I am content. I am not really sure what next week will look like.. but whatever will be.. Love back ❤

    1. I’m sorry John, i hope you are having warm fuzzie feelings about your mom and not hurting – i would not want to cause anyone pain by what I write. especially during the holidays.. its hard enough sometimes without the extra layer of stuff…

  3. Oh, how I long to receive a completed Jello mold in a box…

    Another excellent moment, LizzieC. I also prefer giving to receiving, but I’ve learned to be a gracious receiver.

    1. it really takes a lot of the stress and disapppointment out of the holidays to concentrate on the giving part. Except when you are looking for the best toy in the world and its gone.. but even then it never ends up being as big a deal as its is made out to be..I don;t make lists of stuff I want anymore – a=so the gifts I receive are even more meaningful and sometimes all i have to give back – is my joy and gratitude… having nothing to buy one single gift helped put things in perspective for me …this year i have a little and I am excited to see if the kids like what I got them.. 🙂

      1. I bet they’ll love whatever it is!
        And that you’ll spend the next several meal times/bed times/chore times trying to pry the gifts out of their hands.
        Which is how it should be.

      2. Bubbsy got his bike early – he had been riding Magpie’s old one- a pink piece of junk – so he got it last week – his bday is the day after Christmas and it is actually his birthday present since he wont be here and he has been playong with the neighborhood kids a lot lately… he says goodnight to it every night and goes and says good morning when he gets up.. it has been a long time since I have seen that kind of joy from him…

  4. Here’s a Mental Moment for you. You stop by a blog to see what’s new and as you’re reading, you keep seeing things. Words flicker, or actually the letters flicker and you’re like, What the hell? You even look away to see if other things flicker. And then you realize… Hey. She’s got snow falling on her page and that’s why the letters flicker.

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