The Dilemma of the Gift

The holidays are upon us.  I love this time of year.  The weather changes.  Christmas lights.  My favorite holiday of the year (Thanksgiving) kicks it off.  A feeling of accomplishment is abound after all an entire year has nearly completed.  This week in particular is usually pretty special for me and it absolutely played out this year.  This is the week where I run the Charlotte Marathon (the logistics of running in a local marathon are just too easy not to do it), I personally celebrate being fortunate enough to have another year on this planet and we typically start winding down a bit at work.  Collectively these three events sprinkled with holiday parties, festive foods, birthday cakes and this year the accomplishment of one of my biggest running goals (I qualified for the Boston Marathon!) makes for one great week out of the 52.

However, this week also usually means its “go time” for holiday shopping for me.  While I aspire to get this done early it just doesn’t happen that way.  In almost any form.  Holiday cards, holiday baking, holiday shopping and even holiday music aren’t full on for me until passing the milestone of my birth.  Maybe it should be referred to as the “10 Days of Christmas” for me.  Well, I’m all in now.  Full on Christmas spirit touched off with a small bit of concern in finding just that right gift for those that mean the most to me.  Ideally I want these few gifts to scream “I am able to sum up all the great feelings I have for you and that you give to me each day in this great gift!”  It rarely works out that way.  What is amazing is that I know for sure an unbelievable idea will come to me or be shared with me in the 10 days AFTER Christmas.  It almost always does (should I postpone Christmas until January 4th? – the Church may not approve…).

Here’s how bad it can get.  Last year about this time I decided I would make, that’s right, make a jewelry stand for Cindy that she pointed out to me in one of the magazines she reads.  Yes, I could have just bought it but there’s no “scream effect” there.  So I made it.  You know those many pictures your 2-3 year olds bring to you from their art time in pre-school.  High cute factor.  Their eyes light up when they see yours light up.  But on a scale of 1-10 in the art world they may be a 2.  That’s kind of what my jewelry box was like.  Yes…mad points for the effort and thoughtfulness but in the end it registers as “cute with a rating of 2”.  So…being an adaptable human I have learned not to go that route.  I have also hit the lists of these loved ones and could just continue down it.  But the thought of the greatest, most thoughtful gift ever haunts me.  Likely always will.  I guess on the bright side, if I ever get that gift, I likely find myself in the unenviable position of having to beat it (or bare minimum match it) for the years after.

Slightly but mostly unrelated to the topics above…Our Adventure Guides Federation (all tribes together) participated in the Fort Mill Holiday Parade.  This is an amazing event. 120 entrants inclusive of all of the fire stations in the area, all of the High Schools in the area (all 3 of them), all of the beauty queens in the area, all of the scouts in the area and lots of insurance businesses.  This year it includes an Adventure Guides Federation for the first time.  Pretty cool.  Picture below do it more justice than my words will.  So far so good with the Adventure Guides…Look for a blog specific to the Guides in the coming weeks.

Click here for the slideshow of the Adventure Guides in the Fort Mill Parade.

Click here for to see all of Sutton life via Flickr.

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