Now that the turkey has been picked clean and the leftovers have been stored in the freezer – my mind is looking forward to Christmas!!
I love Christmas !!!!! My mom loved Christmas and passed her love of the holiday and Christmas festivities down to me. She shopped all year round with Christmas in mind. In fact several years she found socked away gifts, bought in spring and summer, long after Christmas. I can remember the thrill and anticipation that built up long before Christmas arrived. So this is a happy time of year for me. The smells and sights bring back wonderful memories of past holidays.
The past few days I’ve focused on Christmas gifts. I make lists and asked for ideas for giving. I forged for super bargains and braved the crowds on Black Friday. I crossed a few names off my list but the satisfaction just wasn’t what I wanted. So I got thinking………….
What would be the most fabulous gifts I could give if there was no limit on what I could purchase? My list was surprising and I’d like to share it with YOU.
Gift of Time – since I’m sort of retired I have more time on my hands – most days !!!! How could I use this time to give a gift to those I love? Some of my fondest memories of my mom and grandma were cooking in the kitchen. I belonged to 4-H when I was young and had projects in cooking and sewing, Those lessons were started at home. I still love to cook and sew to this day and I owe it all to the time my mom and grandma invested in me.
So how about baking Christmas cookies with your family of a group of friends? Years ago when my daughter was small we would make Christmas cookies each year. The kitchen would be a mess but the memories we shared were priceless. And when some red and green sprinkles appeared in the cracks of the cabinets many months later, it brought a smile to my face !!
Gift of Memories – My dad grew up in Toledo with several brothers. Back then time in play was spent outdoors. I remember sitting close to my dad and listening to stories he would tell of adventures him and his brothers would have together. The story of them stringing a wire up between trees and making a basket contraption to ride in still brings a smile to my face. My dad told of how many times they crashed into the tree before they got the design right. As a youth my dad worked at some of the huge mansions along the river as a gardener. His stories of the “big house” were colorful and vivid. Later when he was in the nursing home, Tom and I, sat with Dad as he recounted stories of the war. He was stationed in France waiting to come home for several months. Dad with several of his buddies built a place to stay in an old bombed out building. He even built a simple dark room to develop pictures. These precious memories have become a part of my heritage.
So why not share some memories or listen to some memories from those you love. Share how life was like when you were growing up. What games you played and how you spent your time. Relate special events that happened in your growing up years. Now that my dad is gone these stories would be lost if he hadn’t shared them with us. Let your stories become part of their heritage too. What a gift !!!!
Gift of Thought – What are the interests of the people on your gift list? Are they skateboarders or do they like games? Think how it would impress your Kids or grands if you went to the skate park with them or were able to talk “gamer” with them. It is all about knowing your gift receiver – and being interested in their lives !!! Maybe you could gift an afternoon at the ball park or art museum. How about taking a cooking class together?? !!! Maybe a railroad tour or a boat ride. The idea here is to share a part of their lives.
This wasn’t at Christmas but I remember going to Zesto for an ice cream cone and then parking at the airport fence and watching the planes come in. Cost-maybe 10 cents but value priceless !!!!! When my mom worked on the weekends dad took my sister and I to the mall and window shopped. Dad knew we loved to shop – which I still love to do today. Think about the gift of thought !!!
Gift of Help – Have you ever raked leaves with your kids? Conversation flows while the leaves pile up. Christmas is stressful and there are always many things to do. I know many families who make putting up the Christmas decorations a family affair. Ask if someone needs help wrapping gifts. Maybe someone you know would really value your help cleaning up the house or doing the laundry. How about offering to grocery shop or run errands? Maybe you could offer to swap babysitting time while your friends are Christmas shopping.
The gift of help is one way to show how much you care. When we traveled to visit our daughter and son-in-law we stayed with them over Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving we always helped her put up all her Christmas decorations. The time we spent together was special !!!! How special would it be for you to give the gift of help!!!!!
Christmas presents don’t have to break the bank to have great lasting value. How could you wrap the gift of time, memories, thought, or help this holiday season? Share your Christmas giving ideas with all of us.