Christmas, if you celebrate it, is a time for giving. They say it is better to give than to receive and I have to say I really do enjoy giving.
Recently I celebrated with my extended family which included a long drive on snow covered roads.During the trip I had to remind myself several times that it would be “fun” once we got there.
What I didn’t realize was that this was going to be one of those memories you make that you will regularly recall on the days you wish you had more time for the important things in life.
Gifts were exchanged, food was inhaled, The Griswolds made an appearance (an annual tradition I so look forward to). This lead to “dickie” jokes and hysterical giggling about memories of our own Griswold moments.
Next year I’m working on ensuring everyone who attends our Annual Holiday Celebration sports their very own dickie – the gift that really does keep on giving (that and the Jelly of the Month club, just saying).
To think that I was worried about getting together and the chaos that ensues seems silly now.
With a car full of gifts, children and of course our faithful pooch I spent the entire journey worrying about what the day held. When we arrived we lugged our parcels and potluck contributions inside and exhaled. It wasn’t long before I was reminded why we make this trek and just how nourishing for the soul it can be to be with the people who helped mould you, good or bad.
During the gift exchange I eagerly watched the kids participate in “Secret Santa”. I eat up the anticipation in their eyes and try to keep up with the ripping paper and strewn boxes. Watching my nephew ride off into the hall with his new dump truck made me so proud that I was able to find something that makes his little heart so content.
Once the dust settled on the gift opening my 4-year-old, dump truck loving nephew approached me with a little bag. Although it wasn’t part of the gift exchange he had something special he “made for me”.
In this moment I was reminded of the true meaning of gift giving.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the definition of Gift is as follows:
1: a notable capacity, talent, or endowment
2: something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation
3: the act, right, or power of giving
The gift I was about to receive was worth more then any treasure and the power of the act and the outcome of his generosity outweighed this little man tenfold.
So what could he have possibly bestowed in that tiny gift bag that would mean so much?
A singular glass ornament with a white feather inside and a simple note attached:
There are rare moments in life when you are without words. The power of such a pure act or gesture is so large that for a second you forget where you are and become completely speechless.
I realized how ridiculous I was for worrying about the food, gifts, gas mileage and time spent in the car, unable to read my book because the kids kept asking questions. I realized that like Scrooge who sees the value of Christmas past, present and future everything was leading to this gift.
The single white feather in the ornament was not an expensive purchase but it will forever remain one my most valued possessions because it awoke me from a slumber of ungratefulness.
The gift was in memory of my first born, Madison who was born still 11 years ago. Another event that changed my outlook forever but somehow I still so easily fall into taking my living family for granted.
So from Dickies to Dickens we’ve come full circle.
Happy Holidays and thank you to my very own “Tiny Tim” who reminded me not to forget the value of time spent and encouraged my own journey of self redemption…now if you’ll excuse me I have a classic to watch…