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Don't Send Flowers or Gifts

“The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.”

            --Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I was a young kid, I loved Christmas. Waking up on that fateful morning to run to the bedroom to see what Santa had brought made it almost impossible to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. My brother used to like to find an airplane in the sky and tell me it was Santa and his reindeer so I’d go scurrying off to bed at some crazily early hour like 11:30 PM.

Eventually, I started learning that there was also joy in giving. I wanted to shop for everyone, so my parents gave me a Christmas allowance and let me go wild in Target. I’m not sure that my uncle Barry was terribly impressed with the calculator I got him, but, hey, it was the thought which counted, right?

My experience with Christmas gift giving followed a parabolic arc of joy. When I was a small child, it was all about me and about getting gifts. Then, as I became aware of the world around me, it started being more about giving gifts than giving gifts. Once I became an adult and on my feet, it became all about giving.

But, then, surprisingly, the joy of Christmas giving took a turn downwards in the parabola. First off, most of the people for whom I was buying a gift already had everything they needed and usually what they wanted too. How often do we wind up getting a tie for Dad because we can’t think of anything he wants or needs? Secondly, Christmas was becoming a game of one-upmanship, with people trying to outdo each other in getting better and better presents.

We were getting on the Christmas hedonic treadmill. Some distant relative or not-so-close friend would buy a Christmas present for us, and we felt compelled to buy one back, even though the only way we knew the original sender’s address was to check on the shipping label.

Really, what was important to me was the time I was spending with the family. Since I lived in a different part of the country, and had since the Army had decided I should go off and see the word, that was what Christmas was about, not the exchange of presents that, in the big scheme of things, had relatively little meaning.

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Jason Hull is a Fort Worth fee only, hourly financial planner who serves clients in Fort Worth, TX and Dallas, TX as well as serving clients nationwide.

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Hull Financial Planning is a Fort Worth, fee-only hourly financial advisor. The cities we serve in the Dallas-Fort Worth area include: 

Tarrant County: 
Arlington, Azle, Bedford, Benbrook, Blue Mound, Burleson, Colleyville, Crowley, Dalworthington Gardens, Edgecliff Village, Euless, Everman, Flower Mound, Forest Hill, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Haltom City, Haslet, Hurst, Keller, Kennedale, Lake Worth, Lakeside, Mansfield, Newark, North Richland Hills, Pantego, Pelican Bay, Rendon, Richland Hills, River Oaks, Saginaw, Sansom Park, Southlake, Trophy Club, Watauga, Westlake, Westover Hills, Westworth Village, and, White Settlement 

Dallas County: 
Addison, Balch Springs, Cedar Hill, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Combine, Coppell, Dallas, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Ferris, Garland, Glenn Heights, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Highland Park, Hutchins, Irving, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Ovilla, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Sand Branch, Seagoville, Sunnyvale, University Park, Wilmer, and, Wylie 

We also serve clients nationwide and can leverage technology to maintain our client contact and communication.


Hull Financial Planning, 2939 Crockett St. #315, Fort Worth TX 76107, (817)476-0584

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Comment   |  7 years ago from Fort Worth, TX