Was interrupted last night because of a meeting.....but I'm back!
Gifts....I didn't get to finish my list of wonderful gifts and will do so in a minute. But first...Gifts.
I realize that my children have a gift for giving presents (yes, see! I do know the difference). It came into being because they learned how to give presents that pleased people by practicing the art of giving. When they were young, the schools held Santa Secret Shops. The items there didn't cost much but my children loved to shop there. They methodically made out lists of who needed to receive and then took time in making their selections. To the day he died, Bonpapa had a Mileage book in his car, given to him by one of my kids (as did my mom) to record gas purchases. He kept that thing for well over 15 years or maybe 20. Tiny little lines, Tiny little numbers, Tiny little accountings. They never bought what they wanted in hopes it would be given back to them. So as I look at the things I received this past Christmas I recognize the gifts they have developed and deepened.
Dawn gave us and each of her siblings a box for Movie night. It included a DVD, appropriate for the family, candy, popcorn, specialized salt, and adorable cardboard popcorn containers. I don't know all the various movies everyone received but we were given Phenomenon, John Travolta. Plus, there was this amazing stack of stamped goodies, all made with the set of Elvis Stamps she also gave me. Pretty soon, on a snowy night, Robert and I will love a night in, with a cracklin' fire and popcorn (for me a bag of real, not microwave, thanks Dawn for knowing what kind I only eat) and movie.
Cara gave me this amazing scarf only I am not sure it's what it's called. It's creamy and so soft and lacy. She said as soon as she saw it, she knew I would love it. And she is right. It can be worn over the head or around the neck...but it is elegance for a blustery, winter day. THEN she sent both Robert and me slippers. Warm and soft and with soles. And they fit! She knows my feet and how cold they get. I gather there is something else that should have come but somehow, her greatest disappointment of the season if not her life, is that something happened, or didn't happen but Jocelyn said it can be fixed....so I wait and wonder.
Jocelyn did a gift similar as Jordan only it was most personalized and compiled at a time that she had little time, little energy, and a brand new baby due/arriving. At Thanksgiving, Jocelyn asked me if she could take home family albums. I said sure and if you are looking at them, please scan them. Then we all got a list of questions to be answered for the 5 children. From this she edited the comments and compiled them into a loving recollection of memories from their siblings, parents and sometimes spouses....including scanned pictures. All this on a disk...which began with a movie and ended with a file filled with family photos. Each person got his/her own story. But Robert and I got all 5. They were incredible collections of memories and thoughts and something I can view anytime I feel lonely....which seems to be more often these days!
So that's that. It was a lovely holiday....spent with friends, neighbors, family here and family by phone or webcam.
Yesterday I gave a young girl piano lessons and afterwards, talking with her mom, I realized that not everyone enjoyed the same things I did, the same kindnesses of family. Her husband gave her nothing, nor did he take the kids to even a dollar store to allow them to buy her something. Then her birthday was 3 days later and still not a gift, not a greeting. Not until his mother arrived, having heard of his slight, and took him (a married 30+year old man) to the store and made him buy her something.....and probably paid for him to do so as well. Oh yes, I know that Christmas is more than giving presents. I know that the day is in celebration of the birth of the Savior who gave His life to us as the greatest gift. But we do give gifts, we do celebrate Him in such a lesser manner, we do make resolves to be better...because of that Gift. But gifts/presents/surprises/love...it's all what we do in December. In some form or another. And why can't we have Christmas the whole year through!?