March 2019
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the joy of giving / why I love Christmas! / wishing people joy

I LOVE giving gifts! But I'm very particular about how I do it, and if I can't find the right gift I'd rather give nothing at all (and when I do give, my gifts are often late because I didn't find the gift in time, or couldn't afford it in time). To me, the perfect gift is something that the person would enjoy (of course), that represents an intersection of our interests -- especially something that we both like that is unusual. If we have little in common, I'll get something that represents a passion of theirs, or something that represents their personality to me. So if I don't know a person very well, or they have very particular taste, then I usually won't be able to get them anything. Sometimes I'll be brave and make a guess though.

And I love giving Christmas presents! I LOVE Christmas, not because of the ties to Christianity (though I like those too) but because it is the time of year when SO MANY people make extra effort to be kind to one another. People smile a little more and are more generous. They not only buy gifts for those they know and love, but they donate to make sure that less fortunate people will get a taste of the magic, and they give small acts of kindness to strangers. A few days ago, there was a two-hour chain of Starbucks customers who paid for the coffee of the person behind them in line! That sort of generosity thrills me! And people all over the place (in the US anyway) put up beautiful sparkly lights to decorate their houses and give joy to passers-by. Every time I see a house all lit up with colorful lights, I feel like I am living in a truly magical world, a world of joyful people who want to celebrate love and share with others. That's my favorite part, really -- the feeling that everyone I meet is connected by this celebration of giving. That's what Christmas means to me -- joy through giving.

I have most of my Christmas presents purchased now (yay me! some of them might actually arrive on time!), but there are a few VERY IMPORTANT people whom I just CANNOT figure out what to get! If you have a wishlist online anywhere, please make sure I have it. If it isn't listed there, drop me a link please! If you DON'T have a wishlist, please tell me what genres of things you like. Don't worry, I'm not going to feel obligated to get what you list, whether wishlist or genre-list. I never feel obligated; that's the great thing about preferring bluntness to politeness :D Here's my list, so you can see what I mean:

I love:
anything glass!
tiny vessels (bottles, mini vases, boxes)
ancient Egyptian stuff
fantasy / sci-fi / feminist / spiritual / historical-fiction [books]
snow leopards / dragonflies / fae / unicorns [art, jewelry, or figurines]

& other stuff, but you get the idea.


On a related note, I really don't understand why people get all het up over others wishing them a happy holiday-they-don't-celebrate. If I celebrate something, then my happy wishes are going to be connected to that! I would be happy if someone wished me Happy Hanukkah or Cheerful Kwanzaa or Joyful Ramadan, even though I don't celebrate them. The point is, that person is sharing their joy with me, and I welcome it -- what does it matter what label it wears? joy is joy!

*merry Christmas dance*

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sabr ══╣╠══
Well written! I've never taken offense to people wishing me whatever happy holiday that they celebrate :D
belenen ══╣adoring╠══
thanks! and that's because you're awesome. ;-)
sabr ══╣╠══
HP :: I need some sleep
growing_wise ══╣HP :: I need some sleep╠══
I admire your Christmas spirit, Bel. This year I'm just not feeling it. We don't even have our tree up this year. The only decorations are our stockings.

My Amazon lists are here ... that's a link to the main list but I also have several other themed lists listed there on the left.

Nevermind, I see you already have it. :)

belenen ══╣christmassy╠══
awww :-( One of my favorite Christmas presents was when Ben and his twin elya (who spells her name lowercase) went and bought decorations and decked out the living room while I was out! I was SO thrilled, it felt and looked so magical to me!

Even if you're not decorating, I'm sure you're sharing love and that's the important thing ♥
garnet_gaijin ══╣╠══
You use the phrase "all het up"!!!

That makes me happy.

I'm the only person I know up to now who ever used it.

*language dork*
belenen ══╣giggling╠══
*giggles* Well I'm a language dork with ya, so yay for obsolete expressions! :D
izzie / smile like you mean it
acid_burns ══╣izzie / smile like you mean it╠══
"Joy is joy" ♥
belenen ══╣kissy╠══
indeed ♥
jenniology ══╣GLEE!╠══
I'm the same way - gift-giving is so much fun! ^^
belenen ══╣vivacious╠══
yes! :D
tree of life
shioneh ══╣tree of life╠══
This post made me happy to read. I love Christmas also ♥ I really like the line in your post:'what does it matter what label it wears? joy is joy!' Absolutely true.

I always really liked Halloween as a kid because of the dressing up and the fun parties at school and the autumnal colors etc (I didn't do the whole trick or treat thing, it isn't so common in Belgium) My mum always disliked Halloween because she thinks it is un-catholic to celebrate it. As I've experienced it in Belgium Halloween is an excuse to dress up and be playful and child-like and has a magical feel to me. The way I've defined it to myself, it does make me look at my life and feel gratefyl and any time that focuses on looking on your life and being grateful is good.. Like you said, joy is joy.

Like you, I adore the way people light up their houses and their roads with glittering shimmering lights and sing at Christmas. I think we should have more times of the year when we give celebrate our lives with color like that! I adore Christmas lights. I've met so many people who feel jaded about Christmas and while I can understand feeling tired of the commercialization of it because I dislike that aspect too too, I've never related to not being able to enjoy it. I love it. I actually feel incredibly energized around Christmas.. I feel much more self-loving, beautiful etc.. and I think it's because I'm soaking up the love and colour and light and giving around me. It's like an amazing boost!
Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Ramadan ♥
woven souls
belenen ══╣woven souls╠══
I never liked Halloween because most people dressed up as disgusting stuff. :-\ And my parents didn't let us celebrate it anyway, so it wasn't any fun. I wish there was a dress-up holiday that didn't have the 'horror' connotations Halloween does! But I am glad it doesn't have those connotations for you ♥ it sounds wonderful as you describe it.

I never understand why people get upset about the 'commercialization' of it! that's part of the joy for me! When all the stores decorate too, play Christmas music, and sell special stuff, it makes me feel more like the whole community is doing it. I love it! I don't care why they do it, I just like that it's a big happy thing that (most) everyone does.

I am glad that it gives you energy and love, it does to me too, for the same reasons ♥ *sends love*
shioneh ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
shioneh ══╣╠══
austentatious ══╣╠══
And I love giving Christmas presents! I LOVE Christmas, not because of the ties to Christianity (though I like those too) but because it is the time of year when SO MANY people make extra effort to be kind to one another.

This is why I like the holidays too. It's an excuse for everyone to be NICE. I have friends who say that it's no good because people should be nice all the time... but they're not. Therefore, any holiday that reminds people that they SHOULD be nice and considerate of others is fine by me.

I love the "joy is joy." Very, very true. :)
belenen ══╣adoring╠══
yes! you get it ;-)
Malcolm Reynolds - Serenity - huh
gonadsandstrife ══╣Malcolm Reynolds - Serenity - huh╠══
I thought people who thought all that were a myth, a phantom, second cousin to Harvey the rabbit.

Slogans like "joy through giving" always sound better in German to me.
belenen ══╣teasing╠══
Well I am a little bit magic and that might make me mythical in some eyes! ;-)

and ew, German :-p I don't like that language at all.
gonadsandstrife ══╣╠══
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
frecklestars ══╣╠══
I'm like you: love gift giving, don't feel obligated to give, and really only want to get people things that are special. I feel so bad though, when someone gets me something (especially something very nice) and I didn't get them anything. But yes...the holiday spirit (whichever holiday it may be) is a bit infectious and this time of the year does make me smile. Though so do lots of times of the year. :)
belenen ══╣christmassy╠══
:D yay for holiday spirit! ♥
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
I love giving gifts too and feel terrible if I can't get something that's good enough, that I know they'll love. I like the idea of doing somethign ncie for someone if you can't find them something nice to give as a present.

I'm also not offended by people saying "happy holidays" or anything like that. It's that season of the year and people are happy, so why not share it? I also think it's just common curtesy to say "happy holidays" or something, at least it seems to be around here.
belenen ══╣artistic╠══
I like the idea of doing nice things for a person too. One of my favorite presents was elya & Ben decorating our apartment for Christmas ;-) That can mean just as much -- or more -- than a physical gift. ♥
darkpool ══╣╠══
Yes, christmas is great.

I have a wishlist.

I never feel obligated; that's the great thing about preferring bluntness to politeness :D Here's my list, so you can see what I mean

That's good, I hate when people make gifts out to be obligations, It's not really a gift if the other person makes you feel you have to give it! Now mind i'd be offended if someone close to me didn't acknowledge a gift giving occasion such as a birthday by say calling or emailing or just saying happy birthday but I never feel I'm owed a gift those I almost always like gifts! My Mother in law was telling me how her family was aghast that she wasn't buying lots of things for the baby. i asked her what for she won't remember it and she doesn't really need anything but it's that sense of obligation again. I also don't like it when people think a gift has to be new. That's a trickier issue with a lot of people but i think that if i have something I know you'd really like and It's in very good condition I don't see why I shouldn't give it as a gift.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
I totally agree about both the obligation and the used-item giving. I used to be shy about whether or not to give a used item, but now I just figure that if they have a problem with it, that's their problem! I'm not going to buy into the new-is-best crap.
blood_4_deniro ══╣me╠══
i dont see why people get all upset when people wish them a merry christmas. i celebrate hanukkah, and people wish me a merry christmas, and it never bothered me at all. and it may not get there by christmas, but i made you something i think you'll like. i'm currently moving to a new place, and i think i had packed it ^^;
belenen ══╣ecstatic╠══
oooooooohhh, for me?!? YAY! :D :D :D I can't wait!

man, everybody but me is moving right now, it seems. I'm so envious!
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.