I love the holiday season, I really do, but I do not enjoy when it begins in September. Yep, that’s when I saw Christmas trees and decorations up in my local BJs this year. Can you say, “Christmas creep”? But now that Halloween is just days away, it’s inevitable that stores will begin promoting everything for the holidays this weekend. (They were packing up the Halloween stuff at my local Target on Monday!)
So I can’t help but start thinking about the holidays, and gift-giving in particular. Our list of family gifts is fairly small, thankfully. My husband and I give each other a few smaller things, we buy gifts and stocking stuffers for our daughter from Santa, we buy gifts for our two nephews, and some small gifts for our parents. It feels like a long list typing it, but I have friends who give gifts to many more family members, sometimes out of a sense of obligation more than anything else.
My husband is generally pretty good about listening to the hints I drop about what I want, but he’s also good at picking out thoughtful gifts on his own. Since these days I really like to receive more practical things for gifts, I’ve gotten pretty obvious with my hints. But that feels so anti-spontaneous! This is actually why my sister and I decided to stop buying gifts for each other and our husbands. We found ourselves just asking what everyone wanted, and buying those things. It took all the joy out of gift-giving.
The other significant list of gift recipients we have is my daughter’s teachers and other school staff members. While I’m genuinely grateful to the people who teach and support her, drive her to and from school safely, and encourage her growth and development, I’ll admit to sometimes feeling a little resentful as the gift tabs adds up. In the past, we’ve given small gifts to the teacher and two assistant teachers in her preschool classrooms. This year there’s only one teacher in her classroom, but there’s also a bus driver, an art teacher, a music teacher, a library teacher, and a PE teacher. Whew!
Do you exchange holiday gifts with family members, friends, and/or coworkers? Do you drop hints about what you want? What do you give to teachers and school staff members?