It’s true. I am not buying my kids anything this Christmas.
Not one sweater.
Not one electronic thingamajig.
No Word-of-the-Day 2015 calendar.
No Guinness Book of World Records.
No iTunes gift cards stocking stuffers (I mean, it’s all streaming music up in here, anyway).
No, I’m not purchasing any of those things this year.
Instead, my kids – almost 22 years old and nearly 19 years old) – and I are going to have an experience.
Or, more likely, a whole set of experiences.
Because instead of exchanging gifts, we’re going on a trip this Christmas.
To some place they’ve never been, and I’ve only visited briefly for work. A place with great history and a wonderful climate and world-class food.
A place that’s easy to get to and relatively affordable. Because we’re not Kardashians, you know.
It’s a place where we can all kick back from school, work and deadlines to just…be together.
And we’re being thoughtful about it. The plan is that each of us will plan one outing during the trip – and pick up the check – as a gift for the others.
Because when it’s all said and done, will any of us remember some electronic thingamajig or will we remember the three of us stumbling upon an amazing street corner concert and dancing like fools?
I have to tell you, for the first time in my adult life my holiday stress level is so low it’s hardly measurable.
Sure, there are some things I’ve lovingly sent to folks – a shopping process which feels very happy because it’s a delight, rather than a chore.
And, OK, you might think my family would feel short-changed because there’s very little under our Christmas tree, or that our Christmas spirit would be nil because why bother decorating if you’re not going to be home?
But quite the opposite has happened.
The house is more decorated than ever – because I’ve had the time to do it.
Christmas songs are on a continual loop on Spotify. Harmonies are happening.
The See’s candy box is in its usual place of reverence on the kitchen counter.
“Love, Actually” has been viewed.
And Christmas cards are done, stamped and sent.
(That last one right there is a Christmas miracle, I tell you. A true Christmas miracle.)
So, yeah, I’m not purchasing anything at the mall or online or from a passing peddler for my kids this year.
Instead, I’m giving them memories.
Which, if you want to know the truth, is my favorite self-gift, too.