Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Short rant, just to keep things alive

Sorry I haven't posted. I offer no excuses.

Today, a brief rant about Christmas. I heard a fellow say on the radio about gift-giving: "Or you can just ask for what you want. That's what adults do."


No, that's what toddlers do. "Here's what I want, Santa!" As my grandaddy used to say when I was a child, "You've got your 'wanter' stuck out." Again, the spirit of giving turns into the spirit of getting. I'm such a curmudgeon, I have a hard time telling anyone that I want something for Christmas. Ask me any other time, and it's just a kindly question. But around now, it makes me feel like a co-conspirator in the Great Gift-Getting Gala. Those who ask me such questions are entirely innocent. So this is not a criticism of them at all. But honestly, it makes me uncomfortable. It unconsciously feeds this spirit of getting that leaves such a bitter taste in my mouth.

Now, I will admit that I do this holiday dance a bit as well. Still uncomfortable; makes me feel like I don't know a loved one well enough to think of anything she might enjoy. Hurts my feelings. And maybe I'm splitting hairs in my view. But I don't mind my friend asking another friend what might bless me. That leaves me out of the loop and leaves my "want list" on the shelf. I don't want to think about what I want-- I have that disorder without feeding it further.

I've told my family this story: one of the best Christmas gifts I ever got was small and fairly cheap and utilitarian. It was a pair of inexpensive mechanical pencils. Many years ago, my sister-in-law apparently noticed that I passed a lot of my time during in-law visits sketching architectural plans. That observation made for a nice gift. Since then, others have done similar things for me, I know -- my framed map of Tolkien's Middle Earth is really cool-- but that first one just stuck with me.

I like giving. I like getting. But I like THINKING about giving a lot more than about the other side of the coin.

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