The four word question will begin popping up over the weekend and early next week. Family, friends, class mates, and co-workers will ask “What did you get?” Looking to hear and compare great gift stories from Christmas. Children often prepare wish lists for the Holidays. Retailers create wish books to highlight the latest toys and hot gadgets for the season. So going in there is certain level of expectation that is set. It’s an innocent question what did you get?
But when thinking about being asked the question myself, it now seems a bit inappropriate. Let me explain. It really depends on who’s asking, most are just being politely and have a general curiosity to know what gifts you received, but for some asking the questions I think it’s a bit of a competition, let’s compare gifts and see who won type attitude. Depending on the outcome it could leave the questioner envious or feeling like Mr. Jones himself. That’s really not in the spirit of the season.
Sure as a child I was into tallying present numbers, the more the better. I did this because I didn’t know any better, as I got older and understood the value of things that thinking shifted. Now being debt free I think it has shifted again. Having the means to budget and purchase wants there’s no need for the big wish list at the end of the year. It’s more about providing quality experience over quantity. So when people ask me what did you get this year, they may be surprised at my answer.
History of Christmas Presents
Historically the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas is to remind us of the presents the Wise Men gave to Jesus. They were Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. These valuable items were standard gifts to honor a king or deity, Gold as a precious metal, Frankincense as perfume or incense, and Myrrh as anointing oil.
What Did You Give?
I’m going to approach the “What Did You Get” question differently this year. Sure I’ll answer if asked, but my reply will be “What Did You Give?” I think this question just by swapping the get with a give should provoke a better response. I know I would much rather share the stories of the gifts I gave and happiness I provided to others then tell you about my new shirt.
Just last week while out shopping I purchased a twenty-dollar Starbuck gift card, after paying for it I handed back to the cashier. She had a puzzled look on her face. I simply said please buy the next few people in line a coffee on me, Merry Christmas! I’m also making DVDs of old home movies for a number of family members this year. For a lot of reason they will be special. So will you join me in the “What Did You Give” movement? Use the hash tag #whatdidyougive to share you best giving experience this year. Please use the click to tweet or share in the comment below.
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I can’t share you all of mine just yet, my gifts have yet to be open.