Let me first start this post by saying I love Christmas....I love it, I love it, I love it......like a lot. Let me also say that I hate change...hate it, hate it, hate it. I tend to dig my heels in and hold on as hard as I can, especially when that change is not my idea. So when it was decided that this year the siblings and their spouses would draw names, I was less than thrilled. You see, part of the joy for me at Christmas is spending time picking out each person's gift (this coming from a girl who doesn't really like to shop) wrapping it with pretty paper and bows and ribbon and then watching them open it. Each gift gets a lot of thought, I want my family to know that I've been thinking of them over the holiday season.
I know that Christmas isn't about the gifts, it really is about spending time with your loved ones. But every other year I spend Christmas looking after other people's loved ones. I know I picked to be a nurse, I know that it is my calling. But just because it's my calling doesn't make having to work Christmas and missing out on Christmas dinner any easier, in fact I think it sometimes makes it more difficult. So the gift giving is how I cope at Christmas when I am unable to join in all the Christmas fun...it gives me something to look forward to, the shopping seriously gets me in the Christmas spirit (it's the only time of year I will purposely brave the crowds for).
But things change, and so they should. I have 4 brothers and sisters and hopefully we will all be paired up someday and that is a lot of gifts to buy. So, after I called my Nana, called my Dad and stomped around the kitchen a bit (okay a lot), I decided that I didn't have to like this new change. I am Brave Girl, so what was I going to do about it?
Which brought me to this idea.....When Patti and I were in our early teens we belonged to a girls youth group called Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT). Each year we would pool or raise money ( I vaguely remember a bake sale which was attended by one of the hottest boys in my 8th grade class) to pick an angel off the angel tree at the "old" mall and buy a gift for a boy or girl to place under the tree and then we went to McDonald's. For many years I have thought about picking an angel but have never done it. Yesterday while I was finishing up my Christmas shopping, I decided that I would do just that, kinda. The "new" mall doesn't have an angel tree and I don't eat at McDonald's but the "new" mall does have a tree for the toy drive so I decided to pick out a gift representing each sibling and in law that I would not be buying for and place it under the tree. I picked out a gift that I thought each one would have loved as a child. Lego for Ryan, design your own Barbie cloths for Patti, a ballerina Belle for Katie, a Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle for Dan and a ballerina baby doll for Jessie. And you know what, it felt good and it was fun. And I will do it again. This way I can still remember my siblings but then give their gifts to someone else. Honestly who needs more stuff anyway??? My siblings don't and I don't but those children do. They need to know that they were loved and remembered at Christmas and each gift I picked was filled with a whole lot of love. And that is what Christmas is all about.