This year, I don’t want anything for Christmas.
I’ve said that to my wife, Susan, and our kids many times over the years. But, of course, they graciously got me something nice anyway. But if I was really firm about it, they might grant my request. You see, if I ask them to get me nothing for Christmas, I may truly get everything for Christmas.
1. It gets the focus off of me.
When it’s not about me getting something, it helps me to think more about giving something, which is the real spirit of Christmas. If I were to give my family my permission to forget presents, I’m making it easier for me to set aside my own self-interests. And just as I blogged about losing my blindness to my many blessings, it makes it easier for me to enjoy those blessings with real gratitude.
2. It helps focus our family’s attention on what we already have and what we should value the most.
A spouse’s love, a child’s love, and the traditions and experiences of the season are priceless. Time together as a family is one of the greatest blessings we have.
3. It takes the pressure off my family and frees up their resources.
My wife and kids have always taken gift-giving seriously, and I know they put a lot of effort into choosing gifts. I’m grateful for that. But if I’m willing to free them up, I’m potentially making it easier for them to pour that energy into other gifts for people who may need them more than me. I can start by asking my family to give a gift to a charitable cause in my name. Now that would put a smile on my face. As I shared in 5 Places You and Your Kids Can Serve Others, we could even give our time and talent to others together — as a family.
Have you ever asked for nothing, and really meant it? What did you learn from that experience? Share your thoughts with me below.