As usual, I don’t believe any of these topics need an immense build up; I am struggling between giving presents versus my presence to my loved ones this Christmas. Has anyone in the history of Christmas tradition ever felt like this before? As a child, of course I couldn’t wait for my dad to pretend to be Santa Claus in 12:02 a.m., putting out wanna-be cookies and milk before enjoying the rest of Christmas eve by finishing off a night cap of some sort of spiked eggnog beverage. This rant has to do with the circle of life. If you haven’t seen “The Lion King”, please go see it. But like my old pal Greg Lake said behind the scenes of his iconic holiday tune “Father Christmas”, there is sometimes a sadness to Christmas despite all the joy. As a Christian, most people’s immediate response to that would be utter shock, displeasure, and perhaps even pity toward the who uttered such words. But getting back to the circle of life, Christmas isn’t the same as when we were kids because many of our relatives have passed away, and even many that are still alive, have drifted away. I don’t come from a giant family, but I assume that even then, relationships may be harder to maintain overtime.

As a kid, Christmas was all about receiving gifts, like the latest Gameboy color or N’Sync album. In the later teenage years and bleeding into the 20s, the gift receiving largely turns into a more evenly weighed out, gift giving. I’m still referring to the immediate family scene at home (think Clarke Griswald and company), and not the ugly sweater parties, or white elephant parties that come about during the holidays. Anyway, when you get to middle 20s and onward, sometimes one begins struggling with what to get their beloved family members for Christmas. It’s not that we have forgotten their favorite color or hobby, it’s that maybe the gifts we used to give just don’t seem as relevant or practical. For example, the greatest bond between my father, my younger brother and myself is without a doubt sports. Let’s just say we have plenty of sportswear of our favorite teams and players from over the years that we all don’t exactly need more of any of it. Also, a quality jersey these days easily costs between $80 to $120. Yes, my family is worth more to me than that, in fact that may be the point. The line of reasoning has supposed to have lead to the fact that at a certain time in our lives, our presence and time with our loved ones far outweighs anything we scramble to buy for them. It’s not about the money, it’s that as my mother has tried to beat into my thick head one thousand times over, needs and wants are different things. We all want to somehow capture that feeling of being a kid around family during Christmas time. The best way to do that is to just be around one another, truly giving our presence, not material presents.

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