In December, the Chicago Botanic Gardens has a light show, which people attend at night. Local artists create structures that are lit up one way or another. The show is called “Lightscape” and has become an annual holiday tradition. There is a set path you walk through the gardens, passing a lot of beautiful “bright” creations.
When it comes to giving money, do you view it as a thoughtful gift, or as a sign that the giver didn’t care enough to think about a “real” gift?
For years, my parents gave us money for Christmas and birthdays, and I looked forward to it! Usually I needed it to pay off credit cards, or for bills. So it was always welcome. My mother, however, would always give a wrapped gift also, which usually wasn’t fancy or expensive, so we’d “have something to open.”
I have followed basically the same custom with our kids which makes life much easier, instead of having to think of something cute or clever to give them. And this year, our daughter & son-in-law said all they want is money. I’m sure our son will appreciate a check also. But I will get them a few other things so that they’ll have “something to open” and also because Dec. 25 is our daughter’s birthday as well as Christmas! Since my husband and daughter (she’s really my stepdaughter) are Jewish, I always give them some little thing for Hanukkah also – they say socks and underwear are standard Hanukkah gifts! This year they are literally getting socks for Hanukkah!!
Although it makes life easier to write out a check (and as you said, I usually give more than a gift would be worth), I do like to shop, but I don’t want to buy just anything. I have been known to give a friend a gift when it’s not their birthday or Christmas because I happen to find something I know they will like. Sometimes a gift card is the solution when I don’t know what to get somebody. Gift cards are a bit of a cop-out but it’s better that they get an Amazon gift card to buy something they want than to go to the trouble of trying to find something I think they might like.
So with our kids I just follow my mother’s tradition, because they know they can rely on getting money from us but we always have a wrapped gift or two for them as well! I do usually get gift cards for my nieces and nephews, and this year especially, because mailing a gift card when you can’t get together because of Covid-19 just makes more sense!
And now for some related entertainment from the great musical Cabaret!
A “square” photo for Becky’s January Square photo challenge with the topic of words ending in “light.” This is another photo taken at LIGHTSCAPE at Chicago Botanic Gardens – a close-up of one of the flower-shaped lights used in many of the light exhibits.