Christmas memories: Giving meaning

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Margaret Plevak | December 26, 2013

Sometimes, all it takes is hearing "Silent Night" on the car radio or smelling balsam needles in a warm living room to trigger the memories of Christmas past. What brings memories back for you? We asked area residents for favorite Christmas memories, and all this week, we'll run a story each day on the website.

April Yuds, who runs a farm called “Living off the fat of the land” or Lotfotl, in Elkhorn, found more meaning in her Christmas celebration the year she said no to gift-giving:  

“My most meaningful Christmas was the year I asked people not to get me gifts and I would do the same in return. This might sound like a big bah humbug, but for me it really helped peel away one of the major superficial layers of the holiday and start to see it for something more.

“I believe the meaning of Christmas is something unique to each of us and changes though out the years. So, that year I really needed to step away from the stress I was feeling about gifts. Who should get one and who shouldn't, what to give, and of course the big question, how much should I or could I spend? As I was braving mad crowds, angry and rude drivers, writing and rewriting my shopping lists, and wracking my brain for what to get the people I loved that showed my true sentiment and fit into my budget, I didn't have time to enjoy the season. The tradition of gift-giving had become something that stressed me out, ate up my precious spare time, and even made me angry. In letting go of it, I was able to spend time with my family and enjoy them and they me.

“The true gift was time with each other with happy and healthy mindsets, uncluttered from worried and angry thoughts. So now, sometimes I happily just wish someone a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart and know that it is enough.”  

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