By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
The Groove - The best gifts of the holidaze
Atlanta_new_headshot 2.jpg

As Christmas approaches, I can’t help but think of how absorbed with consumerism we are, as though the amount of a person’s love is represented by a price tag. Some may consider me a “Scrooge” for what I’m about to say, but here are my feelings on how to give during the holidays.

I’m going to start with some staggering statistics to reinforce my beliefs. According to, for 2019, industry experts expect the average American to spend $920 per person on holiday gifts, up from $885 in 2018 and reaching a total of more than $1 trillion in holiday spending.

Does anyone else think that’s utterly insane, or is it just me? In my personal opinion, the presents I’ve received meaning the most to me are those containing emotion, thought and manual work woven into them. I have forgotten many ordinary gifts. However, one heartfelt and imaginative presentation holding a special place in my heart and mind is an adventure to Fall Creek Falls. 

The person who’d taken me knew I was often anxious and overthought every detail, which is tiresome. A lunch was packed, including drinks, fruit and sandwiches. He drove me up to the Gorge Overlook at Fall Creek Falls, and we walked out to the edge of the rocks. Watercolor paints, brushes and canvases were taken out of a bag and set onto my lap. All of the trees were turning a variety of oranges, reds, browns and lingering greens. For hours, we each painted our own interpretation of what we gathered from the fall foliage. 

During that time, I realized how my focus on mixing paints and gently dabbing those across the canvas, representing the colorful leaves, had taken my mind to a place of peace and quiet. His goal was to allow me to find contentment and calmness. This is the type of gift I relish and am the most grateful for.

I don’t believe in buying monetary items to show care or love. I enjoy the experiences and memories which will stay in my mind for many years to come. Paint me something, write down emotions and lines of love, take photos and frame those moments of happiness between us, go on an adventure, set up a moment to dance merrily and intimately or bake treats together that are a longstanding tradition in the family. The opportunities are endless to show affection with a personal gesture.

Purchased items aren’t what linger and resonate with me. Taking the time to understand and show the unique feelings a person bestows upon you is the most meaningful and priceless gift of all. Creating moments that won’t be forgotten, personalized gestures and meaningful acts are unique and unsurpassable. This expression of genuine care won’t be thrown into a closet or pushed into storage as time passes. These occasions will be coveted and stored deeply in the heart to be pulled out and cherished for years to come.

Happy holidays, all!

Standard reporter Atlanta Northcutt can be reached at 473-2191.