There is an article that is circling talking about the need to spend money on vacations or experiences instead of physical gifts for kids. And, I love the sentiment, I really do and I know the intent is good. I get that moments matter and experiences create beautiful memories. I’ve had beautiful experiences and vacations.
What if the gift is the experience?
And what if the gift is all that is within the budget?
Sigh. This is the part that makes me want to write just to give a moment of grace and perspective – I know there are some who cannot afford to give the vacation and being told that the gifts given won’t matter as much can be rough. Who wants to read that their very best is second best? Whether it is time, money, work, whatever – the vacation is a dream and sometimes being told that you “should only spend money here versus there” can feel like a fail when you can’t.
But, I really want you to know that even if you couldn’t and you bought a gift – THAT MATTERS.
It’s easy to say the gifts don’t matter or kids don’t remember them but you know what? There are some gifts that I received as a child that mean something to me.
I remember getting this math game, a Mr. Professor math facts game, when I was seven or eight. I remember sitting with my grandpa as he would cheer me on as I got farther in the game. I remember where I sat on my grandparents couch and how I would try to defeat levels even though I didn’t know double digit multiplication. In fact, if I close my eyes, I can remember being there, right now. I loved that toy. It was what? $10?
And it mattered.
It wasn’t a vacation, but a gift.
And that gift created an experience.
You see what I want you to remember is that it’s the heart, the trying, the experience of the moment, the giving our best that matters. If you had to work or can’t afford it but show up and love – oh sweet friend – that matters.
Please please please remember that.
I really believe the intent of those articles is good. It’s another perspective, another way to reduce clutter. But I also believe that sometimes just reading the title or the words can also feel isolating.
I think what I want to speak is grace.
If you have the opportunity for a vacation and experience – that is awesome. But it’s not an either this is awesome or the rest is not. We all have different stories, different paths to walk and there is so much freedom in grace and love and building each other up.
So try your best.
Maybe it’s a gift. Maybe it’s an experience. Maybe it’s a trip.
But you see – it is UNIQUE and the BEST for YOUR family.
So don’t compare.
Give, love, show up.
In the end, who really knows what will stick in one’s memories? Oftentimes it is the unexpected, the small, the connections that creates the memories.
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