• Neely Wadden

The Gift of Experience


Gift giving has always been so difficult for me. I'm sure that I am not alone in this. When the holidays approach, I feel like I have to find things to give to people, whether or not I have any idea what they want or need. I end up agonizing over the perfect gift and often that person would (let's be honest) rather have the money I spent.


I do understand and honor the ages-old tradition of gifting, and I think it's a beautiful one. To see or think of something that we can give another, which would show them our love is just beautiful. But sometimes, I just cannot think of, or afford that perfect thing, and giving out of a sense of obligation negates the true nature of gift giving.


And then there are children. After spending so much time combing through my kids' rooms and giving away most of their toys (mostly with their permission), the last thing I want to do this year is to go out and get more things to fill our tiny (900 square foot) house.


My kids have so many grandparents who love them so much. As a single Mom, I am so fortunate to have so much help with them. But this leaves my kids with almost no material needs at all. And they even know this. Neither of them could think of a single thing that they want for Christmas. The last few years, I have gotten them a family game for us to play together as their major gift. But now, we have enough games.


So. We are doing something different this Christmas. I will stuff their stockings with a few fun items (I have no idea what). And after they come back from their dad's during break, we are going to have a stay-cation for 3 days. The plan is to be together, have fun, and to spend a little money on things that we don't usually do, like going to a movie downtown, or eating out. We also plan to go ice skating, and on a hike at our favorite hiking spot, which I've been asked not to disclose because it's such an amazing hike. We might order Uber Eats, which we did once a few weeks ago and the kids were so excited that you would have thought that it WAS Christmas.


My daughter has requested that I turn my phone off during that time as well, which is so funny, and makes me happy. But I also wonder if I am on it more than I think because I really try to keep it on the counter when the kids are around. Nevertheless, the phone will be off.



I will try to keep a lot of yummy and nutritious food around the house as well as a lot of art supplies. There will be music and dancing. And, of course, there will be many books. We will at times pretend that we are in a cabin in the woods, and the kids will probably want to sleep in my bed, which I kind of love.


They will have to promise to keep things tidy, as Mama cannot relax in a messy house. I'm certain that there will be a few times when the kids begin to wrestle and make me tell them to stop the horseplay, which always makes me feel so very old. But, I've learned that when the horseplay begins, it's time to go outside.


So, wish me luck, and I will plan a blog to let you know how it goes!

Happy Holidays!

Namaste,

Neely

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