Is there a gift you received that you’ve never forgotten?
There are many gifts I don’t remember these days. It’s been awhile since I was a girl anxiously looking forward to Christmas morning. I did always love to receive the gift of clothes, whether at Christmas or my birthday.
And speaking of birthdays, mine is three weeks after Christmas. As a girl, this meant I basically got gifts once a year, a few weeks apart. At least, that’s how it felt to me. Those eleven months seemed to stretch on forever.
But Mom always tried to make my birthday special.
The thing I remember being most excited to open was a box that held store-bought clothes. This was true from the time I was in elementary school, but especially as I got older.
This was a big deal to me, primarily because my mom sewed nearly everything I wore. Back then, it was much more affordable than buying ready-made clothes. My mom did not work outside the home much when I was growing up. Sewing was one way she stretched the dollar.
My mom was, and still is, an excellent seamstress. Because I later learned to sew, I know just how hard she worked making those clothes. But, I wanted what I saw my friends wearing.
I was not satisfied.
Surely I’m not alone here. Maybe you didn’t have clothes sewn for you, but I bet there was a gift or two you were not especially thankful for. We can probably all remember that feeling of disappointment over what we did not get, once we’d opened all the gifts from under the tree.
Has your Christmas list changed?
As we grow older, certainly we want different things. Wishes for cheap trinkets available at the dollar store become requests for much pricier toys. What once satisfied us often becomes unattainable without someone going in debt to put a look of excitement on our face.
What are you hoping for this year?
My grownup list looks so very different from those childhood wishes. What I want most is to spend time with family.
When we gather with our kids, we often have simple snack foods instead of a big, fancy meal that takes all day to prepare. We’ve agreed we just want to enjoy the time together.
We’ll have a warm home to gather in and food to fill ourselves. We’ll have the freedom to display a nativity scene outside or in, if we so desire, and to say Merry Christmas as often as we like.
It has something to do with getting older, this change in the Christmas list. Having adult children and then becoming a grandparent has a way of rearranging priorities, especially at Christmas.
For me, there’s also the matter of spending time in 3rd world places; of seeing how a good portion of the world really lives. It reminds me just how fortunate – and free – I am.
I’m thinking today of girls I know by name in Asia and Latin America – girls who would give anything for just one new, handmade dress.
More than that, I think of how some would love to just have their mother with them this Christmas – girls who are desperately poor, orphaned or caught in the middle of disadvantaged situations.
And there are girls like these all over the world, including in our own cities.
All those years ago, I didn’t know how blessed I was to have a mom who not only made me clothes, but was there with me. She took care of and loved me, even when I didn’t appreciate her gifts so much.
And, speaking of gifts, dear God, thank you for THE gift we were given.
How can we not speak of it? Thank You for what You gave. We have no adequate words to express what we feel for the gift of Your Son, already our Savior-King at His birth.
And not only is He the best gift we were given – He is the gift that keeps on giving today. After writing this, I’m wondering how I can possibly ask for anything more this Christmas?