Dear mom and dad,

I know that, with the holidays right around the corner, there's only one thing on everyone's minds these days — gifts. It's impossible to go more than an hour without someone mentioning something they want, some present they're giving, something they are going to buy. With all of this gift talk going around, I just wanted to remind you about something very important:

It's okay if you can't afford to buy me extravagant Christmas presents. It's okay if the living room isn't overflowing with presents, or if the stockings aren't stuffed full of gifts. Contrary to what you think, I don't care about those things.

Don't get me wrong, I love gifts as much as the next person, but you know what I love even more? You.

I know how hard you work to provide for me. I know it's not always easy to give me everything I need, but somehow, through sheer force of will, you always come through. And I realize that I may not say this nearly enough, but I am eternally grateful for everything you do. I'm so thankful for the times you went without just so I could have what I needed. I'm thankful for all the past Christmases, especially when I was a child, where you worked overtime and went above and beyond to give me all the presents I could ever want, and then you sat back and let a fat man in a red suit take all the credit just so I could believe in the magic of Christmas for a little bit longer. Now that I'm older, I see the truth: Santa Clause has nothing on you guys.

What I want most this year, more than iPhones, clothes, gift cards, or anything else, is for you to be happy. All I want is for the most important people in my life to have the wonderful Christmas they deserve. I don't want you to stress about the number of presents under the tree, or about whether or not I'll love every single gift you get me. I will love any gift that comes from you because I know you give it to me with love.

The fact that you're even stressing so much about giving me presents is more than enough for me. It shows me just how much you love and care for me, and that you would give me the world if you could. But I don't need the world from you. I just need you to keep giving me the same love that you have given me all of my life. Material things are nice, but no amount of electronics or fancy watches could ever measure up to the care and devotion I get from you guys on a daily basis.

This holiday is about family, not presents. And so I'll say it again, one last time: you don't need to worry about silly things like how many gifts will be under the tree this year. Just know that, whether it's one gift or one hundred, it doesn't matter to me.

The greatest gift I ever received was having you as my parents.


Your eternally grateful child.