Merry Christmas! I Love You Thi$$$$ Much!

price tagsWell, it’s descended upon us again hasn’t it? The traditional, commercial Christmas is practically here. That magical time of year when we all gather together after rushing madly hither and yon in search of that perfect gift that lets our loved ones know just how very much we love them. Literally.

For example: “Here, Aunt Nancy… here’s a lovely plaid scarf. I know it’s wool and a little scratchy but it matches your eyes. Don’t you think? They did have cashmere, but you see… My love for you is not a cashmere kind of love. My love for you is a woolish kind of love. In fact, I love you around $11 worth.”

See what I mean? Without realizing it, we often divide those we care about into categories, defining our love for them by assigning dollar amounts. Now I know you might argue with me that it is all about budgeting and how can you possibly spend more on Cousin Stuart after dropping less than 20 on Aunt Nancy’s hideous scarf… but we ought to admit that on SOME level it is true.

The math goes a little something like this (Feel free to add a zero depending on which “percenter” you are)… There are those who fall into the $5 category. They are the ones most often occupying the fringes of our lives… Those we HAVE to see on a daily basis but would not necessarily interact with were we not forced to. And those we place into the $10 to $20 range… People with whom we choose to spend time but are not related. And then there’s family. Family eats up most of the budget either out of necessity, obligation or affection.

And this is where the real fun begins. You consider what THEY got YOU last year and thus what type of gift should be given this year. This sometimes breeds a healthy bout of one-up-man-ship or at the very least a breaking even. I’ve often wondered whether or not we should all just keep the $50 or $100 since we’re essentially handing it back and forth year after year. But what would be the fun in that?

Then I remember that it isn’t really about the money. The money is the necessary evil by which feel we must express our gratitude or love this time of year. It’s really all about recognition. Recognition of the people we COULD not or WOULD not live without whether they gave us a faulty, small kitchen appliance (with or without a warranty), a gift card to a place we hate, a too big pair of pajamas or a hideous pair of slippers last year.

Merry Christmas everyone! May you give and receive lots of love to and from your 5, 10, 20 and 50-dollar people this holiday season… no matter what form of currency it comes in.

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9 thoughts on “Merry Christmas! I Love You Thi$$$$ Much!

  1. My gifts reflect understanding more than love.
    You never express interest in anything purchasable, so I got you chocolate.
    You play guitar and love jewelry, so you get recycled guitar string bracelets.

  2. Kristine says:

    I do do a little dollar considering, but I really try to do gifts that I think the person would genuinely like without busting my budget. This year I tried a couple DIY gifts and they went over really well. The dollar store is a treasure trove of idea starters.

  3. Oh, you terrible cynic you! No, just kidding, I totally do this. Spending Tier 1 = my husband and my mom. Spending Tier 2 is the rest of my family and friends. Spending Tier 3 is my equivalent of your $5 people, but they usually get baking. Within the assigned budgets, I work hard to get people the best possible thing they’d like. I put a LOT of thought into it. It’s kind of exhausting, but usually makes me feel happy.

    • Haha! I know, I know. I’m not really that cynical just thought it would be fun to write about. I like the baking! I know people complain it makes them fat, but truthfully everyone loves getting stuff like that! I enjoy giving to my loved ones and (hopefully) making them smile with whatever I give them. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  4. Donald Miller says:

    Merry Christmas, Joanna.

    Yours is a wise article. That’s all-too-often the case. There really isn’t much love in this world for and from most people. If there was we would go all-in. There’s so much apathy and selfishness.

    Love has different seasons, but it’s most alive when the feelings are as strong as they are in The Who song, I’m placing at the bottom of this comment. (The song is about God, but it could be about a life-mate.)

    Then there’s the kind of love that is found after many years. It’s ironic that Shwartzkopf died today, because I would have mentioned the story about his father even if he hadn’t. There’s a video of the tragedy from a number of years ago. The husband and wife are in their car and it’s caught up in a flash flood. The wife wasn’t mobile. The husband was. He could have gotten out of the vehicle, but he didn’t want her to die alone.

    • Thanks for sharing the song, Donald! Very fitting, no matter how you look at it. I was joking about the money thing and presents but you’re definitely right that apathy has a hand in things. I love my people and love getting gifts for them but it if funny how we sometimes do pidgeon-hole people into monetary categories. I hope you had a nice holiday season and wish you a very Happy New Year!

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