December 20, 2011

Kraft Dinners and Christmas Gifts

Posted by Laura

The other day, I was chatting with one of my best friends, Marli*, about life and "success".  We daydreamed about being millionaires (ha!) and if that day ever came for either of us then we would still live life by the standards we do now. For example, she said that she would stay in her modest house, but re-do her kitchen. I said I would continue to shop at Goodwill and re-do roadside finds, even if I lived in a mansion. I think The Barenaked Ladies say it best..."If I had a million dollars, I wouldn't have to eat kraft dinner, but I would eat kraft dinner and just buy really fancy ketchup - dijon ketchup!":

The point that I'm trying to get at with this is that with Christmas upon us, people's anxiety tends to spike as their wallets lighten. The holidays are meant to be a time of being together, catching up with old friends or distant family, and remembering where we come from - whether it be our faith, family or friends that provide those little reminders of who we are. Okay, enough of me blabbing. Here are a few little tidbits to enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank:

Deliberately spend time with someone. In this day and age of emailing, texting and skyping, it is easy to drift away from good 'ol quality time.

My nephew Sawyer makes a mean pancake

Start a new tradition or partake in an old one. Like going into the woods, gathering greens, and making wreaths with friends. Thanks Alissa!

I made a wreath...with my own bare hands...from the
woods' greenery...true story

Give handmade gifts. This is not only incredibly personal, but easy on the wallet.

window from the woods

We at PEC encourage everyone to take a moment for yourself (like right now) and identify why you do the things you do around the holidays. For me, I've had to process why I give gifts. Is it because I want to be recognized? Is it because it is a tradition that I do without thinking about it? It it because I love the look on their face when they open it? Through different conversations and processing, I realized that giving gifts to people is a way of honoring them, and in a way inserting yourself into their daily life. For example, every time I see or use something around my home that someone gave me, I instantly think of that person. An apron from my husband's aunt...a spoon for our coffee beans from my brother...a pair of glass votives from Kristin. Every time I see these things I think of that person. That is what I love about gifts. Gifts don't need to be big, extravagant, expensive things. Just a little way of saying "hello". So I encourage everyone to stop, listen, and ponder during this season.

Have a very Merry Christmas :)

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Just kidding. I only put the little asterisk in so I could tell you that Marli and her husband McCabe own not one but two stellar coffee shops out in Fort Collins, CO named Mugs Coffee Lounge. Check them out if you're ever in The Fort.

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