About Me

My photo
My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm a Little Bummed About Chritmas This Year

I've been a little bummed about Christmas this year. Mostly I'm bummed because we aren't really doing gifts this year. My kids all want money - so boring. Its what they need though so it seems silly to buy them something they may or may not want or need when what they really need is cash. My parents requested to have Brian and Cody do some work for them, which is also what they need more than they need a gift, but again, boring. And Brian and I are using our Christmas money to pay for our trip to Virginia in January. I'm glad we're going and I am really looking forward to it but it is work-related so I wish it wasn't our Christmas gift. OK, so it happens to be a lot of fun too ... seeing some friends, going to a club to hear some great music for the benefit of Pine Ridge, spending the afternoon checking out the city of Winchester, but still ... I wish it wasn't our Christmas gift. It kinda has to be though; we don't have the money to pay for both - its been an expensive year. And because it's been an expensive year, I didn't get to buy gifts for my kids on the Rez and gifts for Brian's family were homemade things this year. Bummer.

OK, I said all that to say this ....

I feel robbed of the joy of giving this Christmas. I know Christmas isn't about gifts. I get that. But there is joy in giving ... in taking time to think about what might mean something to the ones you love and then wrapping them up with the anticipation of seeing them open it on Christmas day. It seems to me, that is the real spirit of giving. It requires the exercise of thought, of considering the other person, their likes and dislikes and what touches their heart. Its easy to drop an donation and call that giving, and it is giving, but in my opinion it takes something away from the real spirit of giving which involved investing something of yourself. And it takes the joy out of it too. Hmm... I'm thinking that is where the phrase "its the thought that counts" came from. People say that when they get a bad gift but really, its the oppostie - its not an excuse for a bad gift, its the reflection of a gift that someone put some thought into.

Christmas will be different this year too because my dad has a chemo treatment 2 days before Christmas. Yeah, cancer doesn't respect a holiday. The chemo really wipes him out so we're doing Christmas on Monday instead of Christmas day. Thankfully I do not have jury duty on Monday. Crime doesn't respect holidays either but at least I didn't get called to go in on Monday.

So Christmas day will be different. I am looking forward to doing something that is very different for us ... we'll be going downtown to Fountain Square with our son's and our daughter-in-law to go ice skating on the square, take a carriage ride around the city, and look at Christmas decorations. Then we'll have hot chocolate and will end the day by going back to my parent's house for sandwiches. Different, but its something I am going to enjoy.


Barbara(aka Layla) said...

yeah, that is kind of crummy. but in light of the video you posted below....its also kinda cool.

I am "ready" for Christmas but its the last thing on my mind this year.

Gary Means said...

Amber, may you and your family have a blessed Christmas, whatever the circumstances. I hope the ice skating, carriage ride, lights, hot chocolate, and sandwiches are a special time for your family.

Here's an idea. Give family members a calendar. On various dates throughout the year, write in picnic, or movie, or whatever event you like to share with them. Those days are set in advance as "dates" with them. It's something more than money, and it's also something you can all look forward to.

And I heartily agree with you about the real spirit of giving.

Gary Means said...

and about the calendar, you may have renegotiate the specific days, but I know with my family, we always have the best of intentions to do things together, but if it isn't on the calendar, it often doesn't happen.

Kansas Bob said...

Hoping you have a great day on Monday and the whole season Amber.

Michelle said...

Amber I know the feeling, I am giving in this year and not making Lena and Shane do Christmas morning, I hate change. We are going to see Marley and Me on Christmas Day that's something new for us.