As a kid, when people told me it is more important to give, rather than to receive, I probably rolled my eyes. I definitely loved getting gifts. Christmastime was the best! As a child of divorced parents, I used to joke that I got twice as many gifts as my friends whose parents were married. But the truth is, I probably did. I received more than I ever needed. My parents showered me with gifts because they could, and they wanted to. I was very fortunate. As I grew older and started to realize that not everyone was quite as fortunate as I was, I realized that perhaps things don’t really make you happy. People, especially family and good friends, are the most important to me. My people, they make me happy. As I began to realize how important my family was to me, I also started to realize why my parents showered me with gifts: they loved giving. It wasn’t about the “things,” but it was about the excitement on my face when I opened them.
As a mom, I buy WAY too much stuff for my baby girl. She does not need half the things I buy for her. In fact, I often find myself putting unopened toys in the closet to give her at Christmas, or for her next birthday, because she just cannot possibly play with all the things she already has. But, I cant help myself. I love giving!
Before I was a Mom, I was an Aunt. Being an Aunt helped prepare me for motherhood in the best way! I used to describe being an aunt as “all the fun of being a parent, without any of the responsibility.” I still believe that is true. I could play with my nieces until they were tired and cranky, and then hand them off to their parents to deal with. I could feed them all the ice cream, and when they experienced that sugar crash, drop them off at their house. Five years ago, Christmas 2013, my nieces received a kids battery powered mini cooper from my mom. The excitement on their faces was one of the best things I have ever seen in my life.
This is what receiving looks like. But what you cannot see is the smile on my heart that still exists 5 years later. I still love this photo. I still spoil my nieces. Because if my people are happy, than I am happy too.