Here it comes – Christmas. For me, it brings the celebration of the birth of person whom my entire religion and life hinges on. And with it comes the culture of carols, lights, family, lots of food, gifts, and …. expense. So, living on a tight budget can only mean one thing for us this Christmas – careful planning and some do it yourself gifts.
My extended family on my father’s side is Italian. Growing up my siblings and I would make an assembly line of sorts to help my dad make homemade ravioli a couple of times a year. So, last Christmas, I decided to conquer the project of making ravioli for my husband’s side of the family. Trying to explain the right ‘feel’ of the dough, how much filling should be used, and how tight the pasta should be pinched together was a test of my relationship with my husband! I couldn’t explain what had taken me years to understand. But, over 700 raviolis, a stocked freezer of pasta, and several Saturday afternoons later, we did it. A gift of tradition, family, and ultimately, love.
Yes, it took time. Yes, it could have been a disaster. Yes, it was an unconventional gift. But, we gave from our heart. We gave what we could afford. And, we gave our time. Time to shop, make ravioli, package, print directions, etc. And, it was a gift and a part of us (and me) that we loved to share. Much like the reason for the celebration of the season. A gift of life for others.
So, what could your gift be this Christmas? Do you like to write? Could you write poems or a story for those in your life? Do you like to knit? Anyone could use another scarf. Do you like to spend time with others? What if you gave them the entire afternoon to do whatever they wanted to do with you? When was the last time that happened?
Merry Christmas to you and yours.