Finding Gifts in Family and Giving

2 lonely wrapped gifts

These are the only toys that I am wrapping this holiday season.  I know – sound the alarms – mean mommy here.  

These are 2 games for the toy drive at my boys’ school.  Classic games that we all grew up playing, and I am sure any kid would love and cherish.

My boys already have these games along with many, many more.  We are also very fortunate to start the winter off with warm and dry winter coats (one new, one hand me down from big bro).

New boots arrived last week.  My younger son apparently is musically talented (not sure where he got this), but has moved on from the piano to drums.  We are anxiously awaiting his practice books along with his drum set.

My son who is about to turn 11, celebrated his birthday already and received a number of gift cards from friends and family.  Since he really needs NOTHING, he actually asked us to keep the gift cards for him when he really NEEDS something. This may actually be never because thankfully, he does not know what real needing means.

We got gaming systems and iPods covered thanks to generous grandparents over the years.  Both boys enjoy a number of athletic extracurriculars after school and on weekends complete with new uniforms.

SO, I have decided that this holiday season is about FAMILY.  We do not need any more Legos to trip on, video games to fight over, and although sometimes it it is breakfast for dinner, we are fortunate to have food for family dinner during the week.

What we do not have is TIME.  We are so busy!  Henry, my husband, and I both run businesses, and  when we are not doing that we are attending to everything else. There are so many activities to shuttle to and from, basketball games to cheer at, our moms who are both grandmas that live alone, and let’s not forget the dogs.

Even if we all eat dinner together, it is RUSHED.  So this holiday season, we are taking a long family trip.  My gift to my boys, although they will more than likely not appreciate it now, is TIME.  Time together, laughing, enjoying, and not rushing.

Do NOT worry, I am not forgetting the teachers and all the other people who touch our lives during the year.  I am doing my fair share of shopping for all of these amazing people and my baby cousin who is celebrating her first holiday season.

I am sure that there will be a souvenir or two that result on our trip, but surely there will be conversation before and after with my family.

There is also the ability to brighten others’ Holiday Season.  This is not only a season of family, but also a season of giving.

A sense of pride filled my boys’ hearts as they dropped the toys at their school’s toy drive.  We are participating in a few other giving opportunities this Holiday Season.

Please remember those less fortunate than you this season.  Local Food Banks can always use canned tuna, peanut butter and nutrient filled breakfast cereal. Many Starbucks Coffee Shops are collecting toys nationwide.  A local and personal favorite is Project Bundle Up, sponsored by the Pittsburgh ABC affiliate and provides warm coats to less fortunate children in the area.

If you have a favorite ‘giving’ opportunity, feel free to share below. 



{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Wendy December 8, 2011, 5:39 PM

    This is so amazing. Enjoy your TIME with your family this holiday!!!!!
    Wendy recently posted..Real, American Heroes!My Profile

  • Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) December 8, 2011, 6:09 PM

    Good for you!!!

    What a fabulous Christmas you will have together! I love that you are recognizing the true needs of your family and giving the right “gifts.” 🙂
    Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) recently posted..We Bought a Zoo MovieMy Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld December 8, 2011, 8:51 PM

      At ages 8 and 11, the true needs do not seems as exciting – ha!

  • Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) December 9, 2011, 2:56 AM

    I love this! I try to keep the number of presents we give quite low and only for the kids. We don’t exchange gifts with the adults. I think it is so important to focus on spending time together and the real meaning of Christmas.
    Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) recently posted..Michelle Duggar Miscarries Her Twentieth ChildMy Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld December 9, 2011, 11:46 AM

      We ditched the adult gift giving right after becoming parents! ha! No one likes getting a gift more than me, but it just seems as though time and togetherness has become so scarce.

  • Emily December 9, 2011, 11:01 AM

    What a great attitude and idea! This is what Christmas is all about – can’t wait ’til DS (he’s 5 now) gets to the point where he realizes he has plenty, and will find much more joy in giving to others than getting more stuff for himself.
    Emily recently posted..Why Green Cleaning?My Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld December 9, 2011, 11:43 AM

      I will let you know how it goes — I am trying to be optimistic!

  • Nicole Fende December 9, 2011, 11:06 AM

    Rachel – love this post. With all the madness it is easy to get caught up in the things. Buying things. Getting things.

    Through my daughters daycare we have participated in adopting a needy family. Plus my husband’s company has had a toy drive. Participating is a reminder to be thankful for what we have.

    This weekend I have planned a cookie baking event with my daughter and hubby (although his role may be just sampling). This was a tradition in my family and I am excited to share it with her.
    Nicole Fende recently posted..How the Space Between Your Ears Will Make or Break Your Profits – Part 1My Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld December 9, 2011, 11:44 AM

      It is so amazing that you are instilling all this in your daughter when she is so young …. you have a huge heart!

  • Haralee December 9, 2011, 5:18 PM

    Time and building memories are the best gifts. Way to go!

    I don’t rmemeber what I got when I was 10 but I do remember the trip to Miami Beach with my parents. I have the pictures of the trip I have looked at hundreds of times because it was such a fun time.
    Haralee recently posted..WelcomeMy Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld December 10, 2011, 8:46 AM

      I am teary eyed reading your comment, Haralee. Yes – that is what I am going for –

  • Rachel Blaufeld December 10, 2011, 8:47 AM

    THS is an amazing giving opportunity started by PARENTS for children in the hospital

  • daniella December 12, 2011, 2:31 AM

    We don’t have exchange gifts in our house we eat only our Noche Buena..I think it is so important to focus on spending time together and the real meaning of Christmas.
    daniella recently posted..Paleo recipe bookMy Profile


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