Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Greatest Holiday Gift

With the holidays so close, there is so much left to do. Now is the time to begin planning and shopping for the perfect gifts. I am often met with mixed reactions when I bring up gifts. People love getting great ideas, but many people feel that the holidays are(or I am making them out to be) too focused on material things.

I don't think that is true. Of course, the holidays are not about gifts, but giving gifts does nothing(in my opinion) to take away the special meaning behind the holidays. If anything, it makes them more special.

Now if you are only focused on receiving as many gifts as possible, I can see how that is a problem, but when you spend your time searching and thinking to find the perfect gift, something that you chose just for the recipient because you knew they would love it, to me, that is the spirit of the holiday. Giving, kindness, love, those sentiments embody the holidays, and putting that much of yourself into a gift for another is pretty special.

It is wonderful when someone can look back and remember a day for 20 years ago because they felt such a moment of pure joy and excitement and felt so loved. When you know that someone really understands you enough to get you something you have wanted for a long time, it just makes you feel good, and s not easily forgotten.

The memory is the real gift, and will be the source of happiness for many years after the item itself has come and gone. That is why I feel that gifts are not "too materialistic". In fact, I still remember hos much I loved the Barbie Car I got when I was 5 years old.

I had wanted a Barbie Car since I learned of it. I am not even sure what it was called now, it was a ride on Barbie Convertible. It was pink. What little girl would not love to drive her own pretty, pink convertible? I loved it. I was obsessed with all things Barbie, and I felt so grown-up driving myself around the house and the yard in my fabulous new car.

I was showing it off to everyone I saw. I am quite sure my big brother got sick of it almost instantaneously. But I still remember how proud I was, how thankful and touched I was to receive my dream gift. It was such a surprise to me. I knew that I wanted it, but I never expected to get one. We did not have much money when I was growing up, but at that time, it was actually pretty decent, it got worse later on.

Actually being much poorer actually gives me another story to share about getting my dream gift. We were so poor that we could not afford gifts. We never had a tree, and the only way we got any gifts was from church donations. You could ask for two things that you wanted, and give your clothes sizes, and you got what you go basically. If they could get what you wanted, they did, but that is not always the case.

I remember wanting an Easy-Bake Oven so badly. I asked fro one every year for 3 years straight and never got one. Then the next year, the place doing the gifts also had a live Christmas tree that they offered us. So we had a tree for the first time in ages. And on Christmas morning, under the tree, was a present for me. I was so happy and surprised when I opened it to reveal the Easy-Bake Oven I wanted so much.

I immediately began to use it, making all of the mixes included in the box and proudly presenting them to my siblings and mother to try. I was actually a bit old at the time looking back, but I had wanted it for so long, that getting it was the best experience.

Those were the only designated mixes I would even even get for it since we could not afford to buy them, but I would make anything I could in there. I remember cooking pancakes in there, and it took about 20 minutes longer that it would have on the stove, for a pancake 1/3 the size,  but I didn't care.

Memories like that could never have a price put on them. I feel like I am rambling. My point is, that toys/gifts are not the reason for the season, but the reason for the season is giving, love, joy, kindness, peace, all of which make us want to give to those we love. And that the memories of such wonderful times with family, are the real gifts in the long run.

My younger sister and me from Christmas 1995.
Now that I am a parent, it is my hope that my children will look back on each and every holiday with those kinds of special memories that last for years(possibly a lifetime). I try to get them things I know they will love.

My children are 7 and 3 this year, and since my son has autism, and my daughter shows signs as well, getting them to tell me what they really want is not easy. So I have to try to find the perfect gift just based off of how I know them to be and what they like.

I am not one to know what the hottest toy this week/month is, so I am always looking for help. When I discovered that Walmart was having Holiday Toyland Events in stores across the country in November and December, I was so excited.

I shop at Walmart all the time, and they have the best selection of toys around. That is my kids' favorite place to go, and they want a toy every time we are there. The Holiday Toyland events are especially good though, since the featured toys are actually Chosen By Kids, so I know that my kids are likely to love them too.

My local Walmart is having its Holiday Toyland event on November 8th, and we will be attending and shopping. I will be picking a gift or two(or more) and I will be posting another post after the event to let you know what I got and what I think of it.

I love interacting with you all. I would love to hear about your favorite childhood gift, how you shop for your family, if you are going to a Walmart Holiday Toyland Event, or anything other holiday stories you want to share. If you need to find a Holiday Toyland event near you, you can find all the event HERE.

*Although this is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walmart, all opinions are 100% my own.*


  1. The Barbie Convertible and Easy Bake Oven were amazing. I am like you and pray that my daughter will look back at the holidays with the fondness that I do now that I am a mommy. Thank you for sharing!

  2. That sounds like an amazing Christmas when you were younger. Getting something after wanting it for so long probably made it even more special.

  3. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. I always loved Barbie as well.

  4. Great story, I too have always loved Barbie, she was my favorite doll.

  5. I had an Easy Bake oven when I was a kid. My grandma made cakes professionally, so I was excited to "bake cakes" like her. I don't think I got any of the extra mixes either, but I thought it was neat to see how many there were and drool over them.

  6. Loved your story. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I remember my easy bake oven too. I loved it. We never bought the mixes either because they were so expensive but my mom would let me mix up brownie batter and things to put in it

  8. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post! My favorite quote is "...the reason for the season is giving, love, joy, kindness, peace, all of which make us want to give to those we love. And that the memories of such wonderful times with family, are the real gifts in the long run." I can't agree with you more!

  9. Great story about the real meaning of the Holidays. I had an Easy Bake on my list one year too (Group A-I also tweeeted this and G+)

  10. Great memory. I always loved Barbie gifts.

  11. Thanks for sharing your memories! I remember my easy bake oven and how much fun I had with that!

  12. I had the Barbie dune buggy and I loved it!

  13. I completely agree about how those memories are so special.. the wonder, the magic of it all.. feeling so loved. I hope my children have those amazing memories!