Every year without fail, someone asks me what I want for Christmas and every year I bristle at that question. I rack my brain and try very hard to come up with something – anything that might make me happy. In reality, nothing does make me happy. All I want for Christmas is less stuff. Seriously. Take some of my things that I’m not using and will never use, off my hands, but please – refrain from buying me anything. I realize that this is not the cultural norm, but it’s what I really want. I want less stuff and more freedom.
When I’m not feeling held down by stuff, I’m free to do what I really love – write, draw, paint, create, read and most importantly – study my bible. I don’t mind washing dishes, taking care of the laundry or cleaning floors, but I do not want to be bogged down by taking care of other people’s stuff and I definitely don’t want to waste time taking care of my own inanimate objects. Please don’t give me stuff. I’m a busy mom of three and unless you have multiple children or mounting occupational, educational or familial obligations, you simply cannot and will not understand. Time is so precious. Free space is a commodity when there are multiple children in the home.
If you’ve ever read the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you’ll know what your love language is. There’s one that most likely speaks right to the depths of your soul. My husband’s love language is Words of Affirmation while my love language is quality time. (We spend a lot of time together building him up with words of Affirmation.) 😉 Seriously though, If you really want to show me you care for me, grab a cup of tea with me, go for a walk with me or sit down and chat with me. When you carve out actual time and space for me, it’s undeniable that you are telling me you care. Giving me pretty things is like hastily saying to me “here. Take this and go away.” I realize that is not how it’s meant to come off, but that is how it’s perceived by me. I just don’t want more stuff. I’d rather have time with you. Maybe you could teach me a new skill or join me for Bible Study sometime? Just a thought. I love to learn new things and I learn best through hands on experience.
Anthony and I have spent the better part of the last three years downsizing our stuff and we still have further to go. We have sold, donated and driven away over 99% of our stuff. We’d love to get rid of more. We are content with less, we feel free with less and we enjoy the “extra” time with our kids and each other.
Before you buy something for someone in your life who is refusing to give you a wish list, ask them if maybe there’s something you can do with them instead. They’ll probably say yes!