Many of my millennial peers have children at this point in their lives. I’ve chosen to not pursue that part of life just yet, so I’m in a bit of a strange place when the holidays roll around. We don’t have any of our own to buy for, but there are plenty of kids to buy for in both my and Abbey’s families. We’ve got two teenage nephews, a teenage niece and a young-adult nephew on my side. We’ve got her 18-year-old twin brothers, an adolescent nephew and a baby niece on her side.
Buying for the youngsters is easy because we can get toys or keepsakes and they’ll like the gifts regardless – even if they don’t the thrill of opening the wrapping paper is enough.
Buying for teenagers is a lot harder. Their interests are changing weekly and the one constant interest – technology – is expensive and becomes obsolete quickly. The teenagers are also in an add stage of Christmas that I remember being in myself too long ago. They’re getting too old to really appreciate the magic of waking up to presents under the tree on Christmas morning, but they aren’t in a place to give significant gifts yet.
We’re a handful of years into the “giving instead of receiving” element of Christmas – a.k.a. adulthood. It’s cliché, but the joy of giving gifts around Christmas in one of the best feelings in the world. Something I read recently also gave me an idea for the day down the road when I do have children and they start to doubt the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus. The gist of it was that when you child starts to have those inklings, take them out for coffee and explain how much they’ve grown up. You then reveal the true secret of Santa Claus – that he’s alive and real in the hearts of those who can give and spread cheer around the holidays. You then welcome them to become a Santa Claus of their own by helping them give a small gift to a loved one or local charity. Is it the perfect way to deal with Christmas and giving/receiving gifts? Don’t know, but I found it interesting.
I crossed another milestone as a millennial this year. For the first time, Abbey and I elected to participate in one of our local gift-giving drives instead of buying for each other. It was very rewarding and I would encourage others our age to consider the same!
Something else that comes up around the holidays in regard to donating is trying to determine which organization is good or bad to give to. I’ll see pictures outlining how much this CEO or that CEO makes off of non-profits, blah, blah, blah . . . I’ll make it easy – give locally. The folks at MUFFY aren’t getting rich off of anyone. Neither are the good people who organize the local Christmas dinners. There are plenty ways to give right here in Montgomery County – and the CEO is probably your neighbor, so it should be easy to tell if they’re corrupt or not.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Montgomery County!