Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time Warp Tuesday: Simple Gifts, Revisited

Kathy over at Bereaved and Blessed is doing the Time Warp Again!  Time Warp Tuesday is the monthly blog hop in which Kathy invites us to revisit an old post from our blog, and think about where we are now, how our thoughts about the post may have changed from its original writing.  This month, Kathy directs us to find an old blog entry about gifts:

December is a month filled with holidays celebrations for most people, regardless of our faith traditions. Often these holiday gatherings include giving and/or receiving gifts. Choose a post from your archives in which you wrote about one or more gifts that you gave and/or received and what that experience meant to you. The gift(s) don’t have to be connected to a holiday. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.
Why did you pick this post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing your post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote your original post?
I've written a lot here about gifts, but I chose a post I'd written back in 2010, towards the end of my first year of blogging, in which I talked about the kinds of gifts that are the most important to me: the gifts from the heart.  As I've said in other posts, I have a hard time with December because of the obligatory extravagant and not-always-thoughtful gift-giving that happens in my family (both for birthdays, which come like bananas in a bunch at the beginning of the month) and then for Christmas.  In December 2010, my daughter had not yet been born, and I was just about eight months pregnant, hoping for a successful delivery.  That year, I gave my son a special gift from Rockefeller Center, and got two gifts from bloggers, which began to make me feel like there were real people out there beyond the computer screen.

Since I wrote that post, N. was born, I left my job, and I've met some of those bloggers in real life.  If nothing else, those events have made me even more appreciative of the real gifts that life has to offer: family, friends, and self-respect.  We've now had two more Christmases to solidify our family gift-giving traditions, and I love the fact that our son--now six--routinely makes gifts and cards for friends and family, carefully thinking about what they'd like, and employing his creative talents.  I'm looking forward to the day when N. can understand that tradition better; though she's really a great help when it comes to projects, she still doesn't quite understand the permanence of gifts ... we're still working on taking turns with beloved items.

I'm glad that my convictions about what's important have only deepened since that post, and that I try to practice thoughtful, earth-friendly gift-giving.  This year I got a lot of locally-produced consumable goods, to support the local small businesses I know.  I do need to work on my gift-receiving skills, though, and trust that even when it's not obvious to me, people are most often giving from the heart.

Make sure you go check out the other posts this week, and the bloggers who are remembering their special gifts, too!
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  1. I also have a distaste for the obligatory nature of Christmas. This year, it seems that my family is on board with not going overboard. (Check back with me later in the month to see.)

    I like that you added in earth-friendly. Going to pay more attention to that, too.

  2. Great post J! I especially love this part:

    "...those events have made me even more appreciative of the real gifts that life has to offer: family, friends, and self-respect."

    I really appreciate that you include self-respect in your list. That is something I need to work on and it really struck me that you talked about it as a "gift that life had to offer." Yes, we have a choice, as with so many other things in life and I thank you for reminding me/pointing that out tonight.

    Thank you so much for doing the Time Warp again with us this month! I love getting to reflect on posts with you from your archives and see what new insights that brings you to or how it solidifies that there are many beliefs that you still hold true.

    Lastly, I like how you ended with recognizing that no matter what the gift (even if it came from a wish list), much of the time they do still come from the heart.

  3. I agree about simple gifts from the heart being the best gifts and I'm right there with you in trying to make the holidays as earth friendly I can. I really enjoyed this post and the one you linked to.

  4. We're trying to create good family holiday traditions that revolve around making things and doing crafts and decorating and visiting, but darn is it hard to get away from a 3-year-old's natural inclination to want EVERYTHING!


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