Hard Defining Christmas? Start with PEOPLE!

Dear Reader:

Isn’t there a different feeling when you receive a gift at Christmas from a friend or family member who is excited about you opening it or acknowledging something that serves as a happy memory or adventure…perhaps a shared interest over the years? Perhaps it is a gift that will come in handy for certain occasions arising in the future for the recipient. In other words…one feels the joy and thought behind the gift!

Such a difference than something that feels more like a check-off item.

If I am being honest…I must admit that I usually fall into both categories in the giving department…I start out better than I end up…suddenly remembering someone at the 11th hour and making a mad dash to find something to give. I would imagine I am not alone in these holiday scenarios.

Outside of children and grandchildren-most of whom want the latest “hot” item in toy stores…young, middle, and older adults offer more flexibility and creativity in “gifting” time together.

One idea that popped into my head yesterday (that I am writing down so I won’t forget it by next year) is to offer a cute invitation card to a cousin, family member, nephew, niece, friend, etc. explaining that with all the craziness at Christmas…they get to fill out the Pop-Up Christmas Day card they were given.

The recipient gets to keep the card until he/she is ready to spend some time with the “benefactor” …a day that perhaps includes lunch, a “gift” of an adventure (perhaps just a walk in the park) a movie…or simply finding a bench on which to talk and catch up.

*The recipient must call, text, or email in advance so both “parties” find a suitable time and then have a “Pop-Up Christmas Day” together.

Wouldn’t we all enjoy that more than trying to crowd in one more event over the holidays when most people are exhausted and ready to drop from fatigue?

Note to self: Start working on this idea and other creative holiday endeavors in time to share and send out next Christmas. Christmas is all about relationships…and during the holidays memories from the past tend to flood our present thoughts…too late we wish we had done something different. So …let’s just do it.

*If you have family traditions or creative ideas for giving that de-stresses the time factor in the holidays…please share with us so we can all enjoy being around the people who helped us simply “be.” As Fred Rogers emphasized…”All of us are a giver and a receiver”…and both roles are needed in life to give love and receive it …this important cycle keeps the world turning.

So until tomorrow….Any gift that re-enforces the universal belief of love and acceptance for everyone… is the best gift of all. Remember:

We all want love and acceptance

“No matter who you are or where you are, love is a feeling that we all want to experience. Feeling loved validates us and helps us to feel important. Whenever you don’t understand someone or feel detached from them, remind yourself that they too, just like you, want to be loved and accepted. I have never met anyone who disagrees with this life truth.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* This is why teachers teach…I heard back from my former student Evans Townsend yesterday…..The perfect gift!

You made my day! Thank you so much! I’m so glad you like the lantern. I read your blog post and was so surprised to see that you had mentioned me. You are so awesome & a blessing. You & yours have a fantastic Christmas & New Year. 

* One correction- You made my day Evans! 🙂 Your Appreciative Teacher and friend





About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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