Gigt Giving has become less and less personal. Because of convenience, I have chosen to send gift cards to my relatives in California. I got no satisfaction what-so-ever, no-how, zip. The holidays came and went and the bills came and were paid, and absolutely no holiday spirit was ever felt. But the cards were the easiest way to handle presents for people whose tastes and desires were not easily understood. When I asked my grandchild how she used her gift card she couldn't think of anything in particular that she purchased. So, she got no satisfaction either.
This year it will be different. Even with the slumping economy and a tight family budget. I will choose a present for everyone that I want them to have. Even if they don't like it, and that is entirely possible given the fact that I do not live close to any big shopping center and my sense of style has shriveled a bit since moving to this isolated place, I will have the satisfaction of maintaining holiday routines.
I will stop at the Wool Shop where my neighbors spin wool from their sheep and process it into beautiful caps and scarfs. Local farmers and ranchers can ship fabulous jams and chutneys made with local fruit. Or, I can stop at the art council's shop and pick up one of a kind jewelry, or pottery, or painting. If I drive just a bit south, there is a smokehouse that packs tuna fished just miles from our port.
Or, I can give them the legacy of sharing memories. I've always wanted to send them recipes and family stories that go with them. This might just be the year that I get to be thoughtful about sharing the spirit of the holidays