With so much anxiety attached to the act of going Christmas Shopping this year many Americans have turned to purchasing gifts online and I am certainly no different. Between the the constant threat of terror attacks, car break in’s or just plain old frustrations like dealing with traffic, finding a parking space or waiting forever in long lines I like many fellow Christmas shoppers have found the convenience of purchasing gifts through online shopping sites like Amazon dot com.
This type of shopping takes away one level of stress from one’s life but it also adds others. Will the package make it on time? Will the package be delivered when loved ones are working and susceptible to theft from the doorstep? Their is also another frustration where I don’t actually get to pick the item up and look at it before it is sent out. There is just something romantic about holding a gift in your hands and personally wrapping it before give it to someone.
Many of the gifts I purchased online this year I had shipped to my place of employment where I knew they would be safe. I made sure that I did all of my shopping early as to allow plenty of time for the gift to arrive. This was another plus as far as security is concerned when shipping gifts to loved one’s. It seems that the closer we get to Christmas Day the more desperate people become. I believe that most thefts happen just days before Christmas.
In any case it seems to me that Christmas get’s more and more complicated each year. Long gone are the days when one labored in their own homes all year long to create the perfect gift for loved one’s. I am 54 years old and can barely remember my Great Grandmother knitting or crocheting beautiful gifts for family members which become heirlooms in the years to come. These gifts were always accompanied by a delicious cake or cookies that where baked and artfully wrapped and I remember family members always looking forward to the taste of these delectable treats. I remember hearing stories of kit’s and plans that men would purchase to build a gift for a loved one and also remember seeing plans in the back of Mechanic’s Illustrated that could be purchased for a few bucks. Men would labor in love in their free time to build furniture, doll houses or cradle’s for their loved one’s. How special would a gift like that be today?
Of course back in those early years most family members lived just a few miles from each other and it was much easier to folks to actually get together and share each others company during the Christmas Season. Today I find myself shipping gifts all over the place that I have simply placed orders online for. We have lost the romance in Christmas and it gets weirder each year for me. I used to shop at the local store which back then we called the “five and dime”. It was not like the “dollar stores” we have today where most of the items are just crap. No the five and dime not only supplied those wonderful items that most people would really like, it also gave the opportunity to take a look at items that created my own hopes and desires the receive as a gift. Compare this today to the mega stores that we have to drive miles away to get to and risk the chance of getting run over in the parking lot only to get inside and quickly get lost in a sea of frustrated people trying to find gifts for their loved ones.
I would love to find a way to bring back the old spirit of Christmas I one enjoyed as a young man, but I suppose that things just keep changing and generations before me have felt the same way. The only thing left in Christmas is the spirit of the holiday itself. The sharing of a finely prepared meal, good conversation and the feeling of love that still exists within my heart. For it is the gift of love that triumphs over all other material items we could ever give or receive. The gift of love lasts a lifetime.