It is awfully nice to get a card on your birthday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, etc. Likewise, it feels good to be the woman in the office on Valentine’s Day, birthday, an anniversary that gets the big bouquet of flowers from your husband or boyfriend and have the other women “ooohhh and aaaahhhh” over them. (Men may notice the flowers but they don’t comment much.)
Cards, flowers, gifts don’t indicate a person’s love or how you are held in someone’s esteem.The daily actions and interactions of your loved ones are the real indicators of their love for you.
Here are my feelings about most holidays:
- They were made-up by businesses to sell stuff.
- Sometimes the biggest gifts are given to assuage guilt. (In one office I worked in, the woman who received the largest bouquets and the knock-your-socks-off diamond ring had a husband that we all knew was cheating on her!)
- Holidays are not important to everyone!
- Holidays are not celebrated by all families and so may not be part of a person’s tradition!
- Sometimes the holidays fall when cash is low.
- Sometimes the gift one expects is not the gift one receives even though one might appreciate the thought behind the gift.
- Children especially of the young adult variety often fail to remember or observe holidays. (They may be grown but they are still egocentric enough that they miss certain deadlines.)
- Comparing the gifts you receive to the gifts your friends neighbors, or colleagues receives is sure folly and will hurt your feelings if you let it.
- Many of the best gifts don’t require a lot of money and some are free.
The best gifts:
- Time equals love – this is true of children and parents and husbands and wives.
- Cooking a meal and serving it to your lover is a time = love gift. (You get bonus points if the meal you prepare is actually something the recipient likes. I mention this because my first husband used to take me out for lobster on my birthday. He liked lobster; me, not so much.)
- Having a date night with your mate where you go to the movies or dancing or a walk is another time = love gift.
- A handwritten card or letter pledging your love and admiration in your own words is better than any purchased card will ever be.
We can decide to bemoan what we don’t get versus celebrate what we do have.
You have to figure out if the presentation is more important to you than the thought behind it.
Judge notWhen having a pity-party about what you didn’t get, try to remember if there was ever a time when you didn’t come through for a loved one:
- Did you ever forget to send your mother or father or other close loved-one a card?
- Were you ever so low on funds that you couldn’t send a gift at the appropriate time?
- Have you ignored requests or hints for gifts?
- Have you given gifts that were clearly last-minute or an after-thought?
- Have you blanked on what to give someone who seemingly has everything or whose tastes were so expensive that you felt anything you gave would not even register?
- Have you ever given a gift just to keep the peace?
Having been brought up female in this consumer-driven US society, I can let myself get caught up in the holiday/gift game or I can notice the gifts of love and consideration I am so blessed to get from my family and friends in dozens of ways over the years. And that is my choice most of the time, when I’m being my best Candelaria, even though, I love to get and give gifts, especially when they are unexpected.