On The Gifts You Got For Christmas

On The Gifts You Got For Christmas

Did you get something awful for Christmas? Should you return it? Should you break up with the significant other who bought you that awful gift? This article is a discussion about all of the nuances of holiday gift-giving.

It is the new year, but you are still bringing things with you from 2016. Chiefly among these things are the gifts you received for Christmas. Whether you received gifts you like or gifts you would rather return is an important topic, and it is an experience that those who receive gifts must decide. If you did not receive a single gift, I'm going to put an extra space between this paragraph and the next as a moment of silence for your gift-less Christmas.

Many people are aware of the nuances of gift-giving. For instance, there is a correlation between the age someone is and if they receive socks. Gifting socks to a child would make them question if the gift-giver loves them, but a pair of new, cozy socks would make an adult's Christmas a bit better. A good gift to someone will let that person know that the gift-giver appreciates them.

The fact that a thoughtful gift creates a feeling of affection from the recipient to the gift-giver is an important phenomenon to understand. If someone is expecting a gift from someone important (mom, dad, significant other, cousin, uncle, aunt, etc) the proper way to gauge the gift they will receive is important. (Again, refer to the space between paragraphs one and two if you did not receive a gift.)

There are many different ways to anticipate a gift, but a few come to the surface of an individual's mind when they anticipate a gift. One way to think about getting a gift is to think, "let's see what this person thinks I'm worth." This is a bit of a material way to think, but it is a reality. Another way to anticipate a gift is with the thought process of, "whatever they get me, I will love. It's the thought that counts."

Perhaps, this is the best way to anticipate a gift. It allows for low expectations if someone fails to deliver a great gift. However, the low expectation from this mindset will overjoy the gift recipient when they receive a fantastic gift.

There is no right answer on how to anticipate a gift. Although, when giving a gift, it would be beneficial to listen to what the person wants who is the recipient of the gift, get them a gift that would please you as the giver, and give them something meaningful.

With all of this being said, perhaps a story that happened during my Christmas will illuminate the nature of receiving gifts.

For Christmas, my family met at my older brother's house. My older brother has two kids: my niece and nephew. These two kids are wonderful, and everyone who came to my brother's house loves his family. My niece is the older of the two and already into grade school.

Because she is such a good kid and everyone loves her, she got a ton of gifts. She had so many gifts that she opened them all day. Every time someone new came over, she got to open the gift they got her. By the time my family got there, my niece and nephew had already hit the toy jackpot. We gave them our gifts, and they opened them in a frenzy. We played with the new toys we got them, but she was on to the next gift in no time.

This happened well into the night until late. Just as everyone was saying their goodbyes, my niece went up to my dad (Grandpa) and asked him about opening other gifts. My father is a wise man, and he said to her, "What about the roof over your head? What about the heat in your house? What about your running water? Those are all gifts you have every day."

I understood how this statement that I heard often as a child would be something different to a child from a younger generation. My niece is awesome, and it is not her fault that she got so many gifts. She was just feeling the excitement of Christmas and did not want it to stop.

I think everyone would benefit from taking a step back from their gifts and understanding the gifts we already have. I am guilty of taking my attention from the great things I own and putting it on the things I want. Many things I want would not even benefit me. The things I have are fantastic.

My car gets me to work, school, and to my hobbies like Jiu Jitsu. My house keeps me safe and warm when its cold and rainy outside. I can get fresh water any time I want. My bed is so comfortable that I never want to leave it. These are all fantastic things that I am guilty of overlooking for the frivolous gifts that do not provide the same quality of life as what I already have.

Whether you got more than you wanted, just wanted you wanted, nothing you wanted, or nothing at all, it is important to appreciate what was not under your Christmas tree. Heart shaped stuff fits under the Christmas tree, but you cannot physically put love under the Christmas tree.

Family can gather under the tree, but they are not a gift to be unwrapped and forgotten about. Comfort and love are there for many of us year-round. It is important for individuals to remember that. Although Christmas is the best holiday, it's up to those who celebrate it to take the ideals of giving and receiving and put those into better use. It is time to appreciate what we have and those who care.

Here is to a happy 2017 everyone, and I hope we can go into the new year as happy individuals with value for more than what we got under the tree in 2016.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

Popular Right Now

A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

6 Best Feelings You Get When Playing Volleyball

While you're avoiding getting hit in the face, you just might gain something in return.


Volleyball can be intimidating to get into, especially if you have had zero experience before. From the extremely bruised forearms to knee burns, it's understandable why people try to avoid this sport as much as possible sometimes. However, after the initial few weeks of struggle, the bruises will disappear, and the knee pains will feel much less terrible. In fact, after experiencing these six feelings, you will get hooked onto the sport.

1. When you get the perfect set

Every team needs a good setter, because without good sets, it is incredibly hard to get good hits. Every once in a while, when you do get that perfect set, you don't have to worry about repositioning closer or further away from the net or where to hit the ball. Instead, all you have to do is swing your arms and hear that satisfying bounce of the ball hitting the floor on the other side of the court.

2. When you dive for a ball and actually save it

Sacrifices to the knees are a must in volleyball, but a lot of times, they're sacrifices in vain. When a dive actually turns into a save, it can be one of the best feelings in the world. Not just because your knees didn't just take another bruise in vain, but because your reflexes have actually improved and you just saved your team a lost point.

3. When you get your first ace

Whether it was your serve that was too fast or the other team that just made a mistake, there's just something extremely satisfying about being able to serve a ball that others cannot return. It may also be due to the fact that you wouldn't have to run back onto the court or spend extra energy on this point, but nevertheless, the pride you feel when you get that ace is priceless.

4. When you find a good team

Some people work better with certain people than others, and when people on your team somehow naturally know how high you liked your sets or covers the areas that you can't at certain moments, as a team you will play much better. This can be attained through training and practice, but when you meet those people who naturally work well with you, you know the game is going to be good.

5. When you get a good rally going

When the ball is going back and forth for five or six times with 3 hits on each side, you have a good rally going on. At the end of it, even if your team loses the point, you'll feel an intense satisfaction from all the adrenaline still coursing through your veins. It's not every day that you can get everyone on the team on their feet, passing, hitting and making great plays!

6. When your teammates become some of your closest friends

This is probably the best reward that you can ever get from playing any sport. Whether it's a group trek to the local donut shop or just walking home together, you could end up meeting some of your closest friends. Volleyball is a team sport, and that bond established through numerous games is something that is irreplaceable. You'll naturally gravitate those who you work well with and find out that honestly, you guys get along pretty well off the court too.

Related Content

Facebook Comments