Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No Gifts

I love preparing for birthdays (definitely not my own though) and with my son's just around the corner, I am in full-on party and gift mode.  I am certainly spurred on by his non-stop infrequent reminders about the upcoming event, too.  Heck, I have been in possession of his 'master birthday list' since August.  This boy takes his birthday very seriously.  Today, I was discussing birthday planning with a friend whose child has a birthday coming up soon as well so I had asked her what was on her daughter's list.  She replied that not only did her child not have a list, but that she had been eschewing gifts for the past couple of years in the hope of embracing simplicity in her life.  Really?  A teenager looking for simplicity--this one I have got to see. Though I was surprised by the concept in general (but to each his or in this case her own), I was even more surprised by my friend's seeming condemnation of the fact that my son had a list at all.  She thought that he was overly materialistic and by this point--the teen years, he should be looking for other ways to celebrate his birthday beyond 'tangible gifts.' Well!

I honestly don't believe that wanting a couple of birthday gifts makes a person materialistic as my friend implied.  As an adult, I still love getting birthday presents and Christmas presents, throw in an anniversary gift and I am a happy camper, too.  I hope my friend's daughter enjoys her simple and gift-free birthday though I hope that as she grows up she realizes that it is wonderful to choose to live simply, but it is more important to not sit in judgment of other people just because they want to open some presents on their birthday. That is a gift.

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