Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Best Gift

I don’t get very excited about most holidays, but Christmas is my favorite time of year.  The lights and decorations, the songs, the traditions, and, most of all, time together with the people I love.

One of our Christmas traditions: the angel
tree-topper I made for our first married
Christmas.  It has graced our tree for 36 years.
This year, due to a tree malfunction, it
is gracing our mantle.
This year as I compiled and distributed Christmas Wish Lists from each of our kids, I didn’t make a Wish List of my own.  For years I’ve told the kids I don’t need gifts for Mother’s Day or my birthday.  One year the kids all got together and decided to write me letters for Mother’s Day.  We spent the day together at an Oregon Ducks’ baseball game.  I was speechless (and then tearful) as they arrived and, one-by-one, handed me their letters.  This year I decided to extend the I-don’t-need-a-gift idea to Christmas.  I said if there was something sentimental or something they simply came across that they thought I’d enjoy, that would be fine, but with everyone on limited budgets I didn’t want them to feel like they had to go out and shop for gifts for me.  I did receive gifts and they’re all lovely, but the best gift was having everyone together.

Our family has many Christmas traditions and I love that, with the exception of one year when oldest son was living in Texas, we have always been together for Christmas.  Last night there were thirteen of us around the tree:  seven kids, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law, one boyfriend, one girlfriend, my husband and me.  I remember fondly the years of going home to my parents’ and my in-laws’ houses for Christmas, but I also remember when it became important to us to celebrate Christmas with our children in our own home in order to create our own family traditions – some drawn from our families, others we started on our own.  I know the day will come when our children (who are really no longer children) will want to begin creating their own family traditions and we will no longer all be together.  (I just hope my husband and I are invited to join in somewhere.)  I know that day will come, but I hope it is many years away.  In the meantime, I will cherish the best gift of all:  having our entire family together teasing, taunting, laughing and loving.


Miles douglas said...
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Sallywrite said...

A beautiful Christmas to remember!!