It’s possible I have a holiday wrapping paper obsession. Stashed away in a closet, I have more than a dozen rolls of paper. I always smile when I open the door and see the colorful array of shimmering snowflakes, cheerful polka dots and shiny foil stripes.
I enjoy the abundance of fun paper, as well as the ribbons, bows, and tags that go along with it. My effort to pretty up presents, however, may be misplaced.
When it comes to tangible gifts, it seems they just aren’t that memorable. A survey found that more than half of people don’t remember what gifts they received for Christmas last year.
That reminds me of the quote from Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I believe the holiday version is something along the lines of people will forget what you gave them, but they will never how you made them feel.
Making those closest to you feel loved, appreciated, and cherished is something they will carry with them into the new year and beyond.This holiday, I’m working to make sure my daughter feels all those feelings. I want her to know that she’s incredibly loved and that she is enough, exactly as she is right now.
I want her to know that she’s safe, cared for and that her well-being is hugely important to me. One way I can do that is to model making healthy choices, whether that’s getting enough sleep or making sure there’s a designated driver when we head out to a party.
I can also empower her to make her own smart decisions for herself. That can happen in many different ways, whether it’s working out together, balancing out delicious Christmas treats with yummy fruits and veggies, or practicing some deep breathing techniques to use when stress starts to creep in. That’s all part of giving her the gift of responsibility.
She can also give gifts that cannot be wrapped. (She will welcome that good news given that her allowance is pretty small.) This year on my holiday wish list, I’ve included the gift of responsibility, which my daughter can give me by making good, informed choices.
As she gets older, I appreciate more and more the gift of her time. Older kids only become busier and busier. I’m also particularly appreciative of her wacky sense of humor and the laughter that she brings to our family.
The other items on my wish list mostly pertain to family holiday traditions. Having my daughter make time to make cookies, including the very fat camels we create with a cookie press each year, is just the best.
And we have some less common family traditions, too.
In my family, it wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without a scavenger hunt. My dad would write rhyming clues that sent my brother and me scurrying all over the house. (As we got older, we dashed all over the neighborhood). The scavenger hunt led us to the one gift we were allowed to open on Christmas Eve. Now I’m the one writing the scavenger hunt clues. It’s still tons of fun and delights me and my girl.
To be honest, though, I have no idea what gift awaited her at the end of last year’s hunt. And it really doesn’t matter.
It’s a perfect example of how the best and longest lasting gifts aren’t ones you wrap, they are the ones you give and share together.
You May Also Like: 12 top Christmas gift ideas for teens & tweens (for tangible gifts that do need wrapping)
Prior Post: The 12 Days of Christmas with teens
Pin for later: