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The most important Christmas gifts

The Dallas Examiner | 12/28/2014, 5:42 p.m.
It’s not surprising that during the Christmas holiday, songs like I’ll be Home for Christmas and Blue Christmas have been ...
The Dallas Examiner Logo Photo by Robyn H. Jimenez

The Dallas Examiner

It’s not surprising that during the Christmas holiday, songs like I’ll be Home for Christmas and Blue Christmas have been popular for generations. This year, All I Want for Christmas Is You is No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 Christmas List. Christmas time is all about families and being with loved ones from near and far.

Over the past couple of generations, Christmas has become more and more commercial. Stores begin to fill with Christmas decorations and have an aisle designated for gifts and home decorations – two months before Christmas. Television is bombarded with toy and electronic commercials. We rush to stores to shop for everyone on our list and try to get everything on our children’s list.

Our holiday anthem has gone from “Jesus is the reason for the season” to “Christmas time is for giving.” And yes, it is a time for us to give gifts to those we care about as a way to express our love. But more over, Christmas is a time for us to give of ourselves.

It’s important for us to take time on Christmas to spend time with our loved ones. But do more than show up. Slow down – after the presents have been unwrapped, of course – and gather the family together.

We need to cherish our older generations. As we get older, we tend to slow down and learn to appreciate the things that matter – family. But sometimes youth can become impatient with older relatives, with their old-fashion ways and old stories. A simple conversation or interacting during a board game could be the most precious gift we give to show our older loved ones how much we love them.

This is also a good time for the younger generations to hear stories about their family’s history and heritage. Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents should use the holidays as an opportunity to share stories from their past – not just the ones that make us look good. We should share our life lessons and tragic moments, as well as stories about the “glory days.”

Quite often, children and grandchildren tend to think the older generation has no idea about what they go through or the things they deal with. They can’t imagine that their grandmother could have snuck out of the house to go to a house party with her friends or their grandfather hanging around a bad crowd and getting into trouble. But those stories can be used to show that they are human and do understand what the newer generation goes through. Furthermore, the stories can be used as examples of how to pull yourself up when you fall down.

Times haven’t changed that much. Youth still make the same basic bad decisions and, sometimes, calling a grandparent for advice can save a lot of heartache in the end.

At the same time, it’s also a good time for youth to share their stories – what’s going on in their life and what they’re going through – good and bad. Youth don’t always have a chance to brag about their accomplishments and it lets them know they are an important part of the family. Plus, grandparents love to talk about their children and grandchildren. Why not give them more stories as a gift that will keep on giving.