Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Spirit of Giving

Welcome SITS friends!!! I'm so excited that today is finally my day to be Featured Blogger!!! If you are new to SITS and have been waiting to be featured, keep up with the site visits and be patient. I feel like I waited a long time but the SITS gals are faithful! And you'll find some great blogs along the way!

I'm so glad to have you here. Please make yourself comfortable while you're here for your visit. And, if you have a few moments for prayer today, please click on the button on my sidebar for "Keep Believing". My very good friend needs lots of prayers today for her husband and her family.

Hope you enjoy my blog and happy reading. AND, happy day-after-hump-day!

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Now that Halloween is over, we're all on cruise control to Christmas. It's already happening... the stores are playing Christmas music, sales are already running for Christmas decorations, even the fall merchandise is being marked down for clearance. It's insane! I really love Christmas, but it seems to come earlier and earlier every year. But, the good side is that it helps me get prepared. Every year I am done with my Christmas shopping by about December 5th. I despise waiting in those long lines when Christmas Eve is just around the corner. When my kids say "I hope I get {insert name brand toy here} for Christmas this year" I usually tell them "You might need to wait till next year for that."

We don't do Santa at our house. Never have. It's a long story... I could give you a bunch of reasons that are only confirmed by the media... but I know I'm not in such a minority anymore. We don't do Easter Bunny either. Tooth fairy is a possibility, but by the time the first tooth falls out, we have already been dealing with the whole "Santa is just a pretend story" thing for a few years, so the kids figure it out pretty quick. But as I've talked to more moms here and there, I've found that not celebrating Santa isn't that uncommon anymore.

But with Santa or without him, we do exchange gifts. Christmas is such a fun time to show a person how much you care by buying that special something. You know, that very unique item that just happens to fit into a specific price category... and is available at the store... and is believed to be a popular item.... exactly what the person doesn't need but would never buy for himself or herself... Every year I dread buying gifts for people who are hard to buy for. What do they like? What do they want? What will they not return? Usually a gift card is the way to go there, but many times it feels like a cop-out to me. Like, Hmmm I couldn't think of anything to buy you so here's a gift card! It took me 5 whole minutes at the check out!!! But after getting many many unreturnable gadgets and gizmos, I believe I would too welcome a gift card with open arms.

It's funny, though, to think about the spirit of giving. It is said that is is better to give than to receive. Also we should give with an open heart for the sake of giving, not for the sake of getting something in return. I think that's true. But if that's true, why - when I buy a gift for someone - do I buy something I think they would like? If I give for the joy of giving, shouldn't I buy something that I want to give, not necessarily what I think they want to receive? I mean, who is giving supposed to satisfy - the giver or the recipient???

And, sometimes my best intentions just get the better of me. I want to give with an open heart, but I have bought presents for my brother's kids at every single birthday and every Christmas and he won't even send my kids a card on their birthdays. I used to blame it on him while he was divorced, thinking "Oh he needs a wife to help him remember those days. That's more of a woman thing." He's been remarried for 5 years now and his memory isn't working any better now than 5 years ago. Every family has one: the sibling who never remembers birthdays with any type of present. The one who always receives presents but it never occurs to him or her that the other folks in the family must be getting older too, usually with some type of annual celebratory event. And, in our family, he's also the sibling who always is willing to chip in on the big ticket gift for Mom & Dad, only to say, "Oh I don't have the cash on me right now. I'll get it to you." Only, he's been saying that for the last 3 years every Mother's Day or Father's day and we have yet to see them money. A few years ago, my sister and I got wise to the scam... and we assigned him the duty of purchasing the big-ticket camera for Christmas. Now if I could just find where I put that cash....

93 comments:

april kennedy said...

Congrats on featured blogger today! Have fun with all the bloggy love...just wanted to give you a shout-out before leaving town!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Congrats on yur SITS day. I'm going to go look around

LORI said...

HAPPY THURSDAY! AM GOING TO KEEP ON READING YOUR POSTINGS, THANKS FOR THE BLOG FUN!

The Happy Mom said...

happy sits day to you!

The title of your blog cracks me up :)
Ok, now I'll go read it-have a happy day!

Fifi Flowers said...

Congrats on being the STAR of SITS today! You have a FUN and interesting site! ENJOY your last post and comments!

Ritch in Love said...

Found your blog this week actually! LOVE it!

Kimberly said...

Hmmm, your family sounds oddly familiar, lol! I too am guilty of skipping straight to Christmas. I just love this time of year, and want it to last forever! But I am trying to slow down and appreciate the whole spirit of the season this year, being thankful, and like you said giving... But most of my giving will come in the form of a handmade christmas this year. Time spent {since I finally have it} instead of money spent.

I loved your post! Congrats on the SITS feature! :o)

Lynette said...

Congratulations! Your blog seems like FUN FUN FUN...going to check it out in all the way after I wake the happy one and get him to school....if I survive, hahahaha

Queenie Jeannie said...

Congratulations!!! You featured blogger you!!

And I promise to always be nice, well I AM nice anyway, but I know not to mess with Texas!!!

Hula's Secret Blog said...

Congrats on being a featured blogger!

Abounader Photography said...

Congrats on being featured! Great Post!

sandy said...

Done shopping by Dec.5? I would so love that.

Happy SITS day!

Just us Five said...

i love your title! i myself hail from Texas- why didnt i put that in my email address??? I LOVE TEXAS!! congrats on the feature! i will read on now!

One Wired Woman said...

Happy SITS Day to you!! :)

~Jill

Shelia said...

Hi and congratulations on being a SITS start! Oh, I guess I'm old fashioned and we always had old Santa around for our kids. Well, I'm old now! lol But as a little girl my friend at school told me there was not Santa - I was devastated! But my mom and dad got such a kick out of the 'secret' stuff, I just played along until I was 12 years old. Didn't hurt me, well, I don't think it did! lol. I love your spirit here that shines on you blog.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia;)

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

Hello and Congratulations on being the featured blogger!!!

i'm black betty said...

congrats on YOUR SITS day! LOVE the blog background! have a great day! :P

Heather said...

Oooh, early Christmas - I posted about how I encountered Christmas stuff one aisle over from Halloween stuff back in SEPTEMBER, it is NUTS! (Though my hubby is expressing a desire to hang the outside Christmas lights this weekend - not to turn them on yet, just get them hung - because we're having unseasonably warm weather right now and he hates freezing his fingers off to hang 'em in late November.)

Several years ago, my family opted to do "Crafty Christmas" with homemade presents to exchange with each other, in an effort to (a) make the gifts more meaningful and (b) save money. This did NOT work, as it turned out, because it quickly turned into an "everyone is trying to out-Martha Martha Stewart" and the presents were costing so much more in time and money than just going to the store! We did it for maybe 5 years before we gave up. Hee!

We *do* do Santa and the EB and TF around here; I grew up with all of them and wanted to share that with my kiddo and my hubby did NOT grow up with all of them and wishes that he did - he feels like he missed out on a part of childhood. So, we've got the whole crew over here, but probably not for much longer, maybe another year or two at best....

And yeah, utterly jealous that you're finished with your shopping so early! I've barely started ours!

mommaof4wife2r said...

hey lucky SITS girl! just stopped by to see how things were here and look around. i love the crafty christmas...we do some of that here too. kids love it!

Becky Welch said...

YAY for you being SITS feature!! You do a great job with your blog! Enjoy your day!

Mmmm...Tastes Good said...

Yay its your day!

I can't believe they've already started playing the Christmas music and putting up the holiday decor!!

April said...

happy sits day :-)

Laurel MacD said...

Congrats on SITS - can't wait to read some more.

michelle said...

big congrats on being so saucy!

Amanda said...

Congrats on being FB today at SITS. Hope it is a great day for you

I am Barking Mad said...

Fabulous! I'm linked in from SITS! Congrats on being Featured today.

I think I have a relative very similar to the brother you're talking about. We remedied it by going through Heifer International and buying a goat for a poor family in her name, every year. We think she finally got the message last year when we ALL got cards and Harry and David gift baskets from her. Not that that's what we were looking for, but after years of forking over for exorbitant gifts and not so much as receiving a card, or even an E-CARD on birthdays, we gave up. I think the goat said it all! And an otherwise imporverished family is reaping the rewards.

Auds at Barking Mad!

Gaspegirl said...

Congratulations on being the featured blog today! Make it a great day

everyday mom said...

LOL yes we have one of those in our family, every year our sister announces she has no money for Christmas. Now we are just so used to it we might fall over and collapse one year if she doesn't say it.

Love your background

everyday mom said...

Oh and I am having a giveaway over on my site for a great toy that would suit one of your little ones might save you a christmas present.

KimmyJ said...

Hey SITSta! Congrats on your big day!

KDLOST said...

HAPPY SITS DAY TO YOU! SAUCY LADY!

iheartbowheads.blogspot.com said...

Congrats on being featured! I am a Texas also so I love to see your blog. :)

Holly

Meaghan said...

I was so happy to see you are the featured blog on SITS! I absolutely love your blog name :)

Deconstructing Jen said...

Congrats on your SITS feature day! It's a TON of fun. :D

Susie said...

Congratulations on your SITs feature! I hope you enjoy your day in the sun:-)

Cracker Scraps said...

Congratulations on being the featured SITS saucy blogger today! I love your title, wow did you hit the nail on the head for so many women! Not only do I have my own family, it seems that my extended family expects me to organize and plan every "get together"! ~Sigh~
Cruise control to Christmas? I hate this time of year now that my kids are grown! You'd think that I'd love it since I am a SAHW! The best part is Advent...guess I'll focus on what Christmas is all about!

SuZ said...

Congrats on being the SITS featured blogger!! :)

Toots said...

Congrats on your big day! I'm loving your blog! The only thing (and it's because my eyes do weird things) I have a very hard time reading the red font with the blue background . . . justsaying. But LOVE your blog! :-)

lemonologie said...

Congrats on your SITS day!

Kristy said...

Congrats on being Featured on SITS!

Mrs de Miranda said...

I agree with the xmas shopping! Your bit about better to give then get...I think I will go in with my friends on this one. And instead of us buying presents and exchanging, maybe I will see if they went to go pick out a little kid at one of the charities and go buy presents for him/her together! Thanks for that inspiration! Im excited!!

I love your blog! It is so great! I am definetly adding you to the reader! Congrats on your SITS day!!

Rebecca Jo said...

Happy SITS day!!! Going to gander at your featured posts....Have a great day SITSa!

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

I don't think my original comment to you went through... I just wanted to say, I know people like your brother! Try not sending him or his kids stuff for a while and see what happens!

Good luck! Love the blog!

jennifersusan said...

Happy SITS day! So??? Where DID you go to high school? I am not from St.Louis, I grew up 80miles south, BUT I did work in St.Louis for the Special School District (and had tons of friends who went to school in St.Louis and a few boyfriends) and my older boys went to school in the Parkway District. Oh! I'm so excited to see a St.Louis gal on here! I miss it so much (we live in Chicagoland now)!

Miss(es) Canadian Pie said...

Hey girl! Congrats on your big day. Lovin' the background of your site...stars...I can't get enough of them. Can't wait to go read through your posts!!

Aleta said...

What a fascinating post! Really, no Santa? That's cool. I know some folks who don't celebrate Christmas at all, so it's all to each individual. Nice of you to share your family traditions, I like that.

I'm like you.. I like finding that "perfect" gift for friends and family. I love to see people smile! Actually, I have almost all of my gifts bought. I have 2 more to buy and then it's finished. In fact, the gifts are already wrapped! Greg and I are both like little kids on Christmas. We love the spirit and joy. I don't go to the malls the last couple of weeks before Christmas to buy things, but we do go there to "people watch." It's fun!

Congrats on being the Featured Blogger from SITS!

Rachel Ann said...

Good Morning...CONGRATS on being the SITS blog of the day! Have an awesome day and enjoy the spotlight.

I'm off to read more of your blog.

Stacey said...

Congrats on being featured! And I LOVE your idea of not celebrating Santa. I've been struggling with the fact that my child will think he hasn't been a good boy if he doesn't get the really BIG ticket item he's asked Santa for...

Michele said...

Congrats on your day. I am enjoying taking a peek around.

just the five of us said...

Just stopping by from SITS. Your blog is so cute! We must be related in regards to the gift thing for birthdays and holidays. My sister-in-law is the biggest flake! I'm thinking of charging her interest.

Ginny said...

Happy SITS day

Jaden Paige said...

I tried telling my family that we didn't want to celebrate Santa with Bendy Ruggles, and you would have thought I told them I was going to lock her in the basement for the next year or two.

Have to admit, I gave in eventually. I'm still not quite sure how I feel about it-

Paige said...

I like to buy gifts too but I am losing interest in it when you cannot even get a thank you. Why bother if it ends up irritating everyone?

Clippergirl56 said...

Happy SITS day!!! Your finished shopping by December 5 and I have not even thought about it on December 5. You go!!!

Denyse said...

Congrats on your SITS feature! I've stopped by your blog before and always laughed out loud, so this time I'm subscribing to your feed :)

T said...

sounds like you found a great solution to the deadbeat sibling! I need to try that one!

Congrats on your SITS day in the sun... wait, is it sunny there?

Honey Mommy said...

Have fun today with all your comments! I am off to check out your blog.

p.s. Nice stars! My two-year old loves them.

Firefly@www.firefly-shop.org said...

Hi, congrats on being featured at SITS. Great blog:)

http://www.firefly-shop.org/

Michelle said...

Congratulations on you SITs day in the sun.

La Pixie said...

congrats on yous SITS day!! wow, I was surprised to see someone that I "knew" as the feature blogger. you soooooooo deserve it!!

Aubrey said...

Congrats on your SITS feature! Whoo-hoo!

domineehuisvrouw said...

Congrats on being the featured blogger! I enjoyed your blog!

barbara said...

hi!
while i appreciate the fact of how annoying it is to not receive payment when payment is due....i don't know if i can appreicate doing to him what he's done to you. it's kinda going against the idea of building relationships, isn't it? i also don't know you guys, and it might well be the form of communication that works best for ya.....i won't be the judge of that! LOL.
here's hoping you have more success this christmas season in having the whole family participate!

La Pixie said...

I tagged you!

http://chroll.blogspot.com/

Joelle said...

CONGRATS!!!!
FUN, FRESH & SMART Blog ; )
Im praying for your friend by the way. What a beautiful family. thank you for sharing.
Joelle XO

QuirkyLoon said...

Great looking blog!

I've read you before and you are fun, fun, fun!

Congrats on being the FB fer (That's how they say it in Texas, right?) the day.

Lynda said...

Congrats on being the SAUCY SITSa today! And happy Christmas shopping :-)

HiHoOhio said...

Happy SITSta Day to you! I am a Texan stuck in Ohio and trying to find good Mexican food! Not happening! Visit my blog anytime!

bermudabluez said...

Congratulations on your SITS day!!! Great blog!

sewkandi said...

I agree, I think every year christmas comes earlier and earlier. I was at bob evans 2 days and they were already playing christmas music. Viva la gift cards!!! I love them!

Kristin said...

Happy SITS day. I swear that we will be seeing Valentines day stuff by December 1st.

jori-o said...

Ya, Christmas is that wonderful time of year that brings out the best and, sadly, the worst in people. Just gotta try and focus on the good stuff or you'll make y'self crazy!

Mommy2lilgems said...

happy sits day! and, good idea to have your brother start buying the gift!

meg said...

Glad to know I'm not the only mom in America that didn't do Santa, Easter Bunny, or Tooth Fairy- my former & current inlaws thought I was warping the kids personalities. Well, last laugh here- they've all made it to adulthood & none of them is an axe murderer or pole dancer ;-)

Lindsay said...

Congrats!

Veggie Mom said...

Congrats on your SITS Featured Blogger gig! You've got an interesting place here...Howdy, from a Fellow Texan (or I should say expatriot Texan, since I haven't lived there in oooohhhhhh, so long)!

dddiva said...

Happy SITS day! Glad you finally got your turn.
I don't allow anything Christmas in our home until Thanksgiving is over... one holiday at a time for me.
Congrats on being the featured blogger- I already have you added and I bet a lot more will add you today. :)

The Fishers said...

Happy SITs day! Teaching our children about Santa Claus or not is a hot topic for my friends right now. I also can't believe they are already starting to play Christmas music in the stores. Let's celebrate Thanksgiving! Hope you have a fantastic day!

angie said...

Congrats on your SITS day! I'm liking your posts so I'm off to read your links. Have a great day!

Becky :) said...

I was shocked last weekend when I went to the store and they were playing Christmas music. It was only Nov 1st. But man they sure do push it earlier and earlier every year.

Congrats on your SITS day.

Finding Normal said...

I just started my Christmas shopping this afternoon at Target. Got the boy a few items, mostly small things for the stocking. I just can't wait! Now...will I resist the urget to just give it all to him NOW???

Carrie Thompson said...

wow my own bloggy friend the feature blogger! Remember that I knew you before you were "featured" so if you get all famous and popular and get 80+ comments on every post, you will still pop on over to me!!!

blueviolet said...

This looks like a blog that will be fun to keep on visiting!

KimbolinaMarie said...

I love your blog, found it on SITs, and I must say your blog is very entertaining... My favorite part is the "Or I'm gonna get all Texan on yo' butt." at your comments, a woman with a sense of humor is a woman that stands out from all the rest! Good Luck with the the people you are in charge of (ie the kids) and all of the crazy holiday going-ons!

Marrdy said...

Congrats on your SITS day. I am here very late but look forward to knowing you better.

Maki said...

I totally agree with you on Christmas coming earlier and earlier every year. It's upsetting. Why can't I enjoy a day without thinking two months ahead, what's to come??

Congrats, SITS featured blogger!!!

Mindy said...

Congrats on being the featured SITSTA today! I love your blog. I really liked what you had to say about Obama being elected not because of his color but because he was the best qualified to bring America together. Hopefully. I guess we won't know until something happens right!?

Great blog!!

Ann said...

OH MY GOSH!!!
It's your SITS day!!!
How amazing!!! I'm laughing. After our conversation yesterday I came over to see how things were going in your part of the world and look at this!
How great for you.
Have fun today!!!!

Braja said...

happy sits day!

J'Ollie Primitives said...

My family is the reigning royalty of oddball homemade presents. It works for us. Last years' top gifts were casserole dishes full of cheesy potato casserole, knitted socks, and hand made candles. Martha would be aghast at the hokiness but we love it.
Congrats on your big SITS day!

Breanne said...

Congrats on SITS day...chistmas does come earier every year...my neighbor just put up lights.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

How fun is SITS?

But seriously no Santa--I still believe in Santa :)

Michaela said...

Happy SITS day!! We've become a gift card family - too hard to find the right thing for people who have everything