Holiday Shopping....Black Friday and the rest.

(RG's 'cousins' in matching pjs - precious!)

Well, I've been working on a Christmas list for a few weeks now. I think I've been driving my husband nuts, but I really want everyone to receive a gift that means something to them. That's valuable to them.

Value is an interesting thing, though, since value only resides in the person obtaining the thing. For example, I don't pay $50 a month ($600 a year) for cable because it's just not valuable to me. However, I'm eagerly saving to buy a $600 computer to attach to my television. My friends look at me like I'm crazy that I don't have cable and shake their heads when I tell them about my wish for a computer. I do just the opposite to them.

Value is only within the person for which the thing is owned. For my dad, he truly doesn't value things. Don't get me wrong: he has the most things of all the family (don't deny it, Dad! Just go downstairs to take a peak). But the things aren't anything he values receiving. He'd prefer to buy what he wants when he wants it. He's truly happy to just "be" on Christmas morning. Give the man a hug, some cookies, a good book, and some help in the workshop and you've given him an incredibly valuable gift. Why is it, then, that I still try to think of a good gift to give? I know what's valuable to him but struggle to listen to that value.

Likewise, I struggle to recognize when other people think they've given me something valuable. One year, I was given a massage. That year, I was hosting the Christmas event at my house, we were doing stuff with church, and I was teaching and in grad school. Fitting in time for a massage was more work than just pressing on. The givers really thought that they had thought of the most valuable gift for me: time to quietly relax. I saw this, but really couldn't get past how it was just another thing to do on my to-do list. The gift certificate was returned because, despite me understanding the intent of their git, it just wasn't valuable to me.

So to start off the season of holiday shopping, I am asking how you place and find value this holiday season?

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