“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” —Kahlil Gibran
This year I decided to spend Christmas with my Dad’s side of the family. Specifically, my Tio (Uncle) Richard, Tia (Aunt) Hilda and their kids (my cousins). I guess I kind of needed an excuse to hit the road but there was another reason, the gifts!
Here is what I got:
A long sleeve cotton shirt. It’s funny because my I’ve gotten the same style shirt every Christmas that I have visited. The first one was un-expectedly comfortable and I wore it until I washed it with something that bled yellow and ruined it. The following year I got the same style shirt but it was an XL, a size I had not worn since high school. I told my Tia it wouldn’t fit and that she should take it back. Six years later, I get the same shirt again and this time it’s an XL Tall. A perfect fit!
Here is what’s funny about this; Six years ago the XL was too small so, the XLT that I got this year would also be too small, just longer. Luckily in those six years since my last Christmas in Mesa, I discovered Primitive Eating!
A camera lens coffee mug. A couple years ago my only older male cousin sent me a link via Facebook of a coffee mug that looked like a camera lens. He said, “Cousin, I saw this and thought of you.” I told him I loved it and may have to get one. He told me to send him an address and he would get it for me. I never sent him my address, sparing him the obligation of actually having to buy the mug for me. On Christmas Eve he anxiously pointed to a present for me to open. In it was the coffee mug I had completely forgot about. He totally remembered.
A Quick Trip gas station gift card. THE PERFECT GIFT! “Davey (that’s me) is a minimalist. He is just going to throw away whatever you get him.” This is what one cousin told me she was told about me by my other cousin, the one that got me this gas card. Truth is, I give away most stuff not throw it away but other than that my cousin was right. Knowing this, she got me the most appropriate gift you could give a minimalist traveling the country in a van.
I did not expect to get gifts for Christmas this year. I kind of unexpectedly invites myself for Christmas this year. I didn’t ask for anything. I NEVER ask for anything, not since I got back from my year in Iraq. (I’ll tell that story someday.) So I was very surprised to get anything and overwhelmed at that amount of thought that was put into them.
Unconditional Love. This was actually the real reason I came out to Arizona. My family here loves me so much, no matter what, and they show it. They don’t care that I want to drive around the country and live out of my van, that I walk around barefoot or that I’m 41, single, with no kids. They may not get it or agree but they never judge and the never stop loving me. It’s actually a wonderful gift and it’s doesn’t have to be Christmas for me to participate in this gift exchange.