Wonderful, stressful, whirlwind, peaceful, - it is so many things. And now it is over for another year – except for taking down decorations (maybe New Year’s weekend?) and the “keep Christmas with you” part, which is the best part anyway.
No matter how much we agree that Christmas is not about presents, let’s face it, presents are a part of Christmas and if a mother doesn’t give presents to her children, it just seems wrong – especially to her, but doubtless to them, too. This year, as usual, I had my time and money management problems, procrastination and then added a few minor complications. My presents were meager, but my children are kind and they received well. For each of my girls, a necklace which I commissioned Debi to make – similar but not matching. She did a good job choosing for each of them. Except for Naomi who is too young for jewelry. She got a stuffed puppy. I crocheted each of my guys a camouflage scarf. Ben had discovered the yarn when we were out once doing errands including getting yarn for Naomi’s blanket. There were three different camouflage yards when we were there. He told me which one was for him, Andrew, and Joseph. I paired each of the younger brothers with one of the older brothers to make matching scarves. Jared got one, too. That was yet another camouflage yarn picked up later. I also gave the ladies trivets woven by Rwandan women – a gift for them that helps women in need. And each of my children got a Preparedness notebook with all kinds of helps for preparing for emergencies. I think that’s it. So exciting.
My children are better givers than I. They have a gift exchange – each gives a homemade gift and a store-bought (or homemade or mix) gift. Their creativity and thoughtfulness amazes me. I don’t enter the exchange because 1) I feel the need to give each of them a gift, however small, and 2) whoever had me as the giver would be gypped.
I won’t remember all the wonderful and clever gifts, but here’s a good sampling. I think I can remember most of the homemade gifts – they are the best. Benjamin’s homemade gift was to Sariah – his cookie of the month calendar with family member’s pictures on their birthdays. He gave her a jar of cookie ingredients which is featured on one of the months, but living hundreds of miles away, she will not get fresh baked cookies each month. Sariah’s gift to Miriam was the Family Heritage Recipe Collection – in notebook for Miriam and with CDs for each of us (!). David gave Ruth etched ornaments/magnets. Tom made Debi a CD of music from the year she was born. Miriam made pillows for Acadia. Joseph made chocolate dipped pretzels for Tom and has promised me a dipping session with almonds. : )
They also gift me. : ) I received a Nativity ornament, a Thomas Kincaid daily calendar, pictures of granddaughters, neck pet (what do they call those things?) which I can warm for muscle relief (already used it and it feels great) or cool, family recipes going as far back as my mother’s father’s mother’s mother (got that?), a crocheted scarf, early gift – book shelves for my Reader’s Digest Condensed Books (decades worth), a catalog of my Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, a framed photo of the Sacramento Temple with little pictures around it some of which I took, a purple cow (there’s a story). I’ll tell you later.
We all enjoyed giving and receiving our presents (no matter how much we stressed over getting them ready). But even more, we enjoyed each other’s presence – even though for a few that was by phone. We will continue to enjoy both presents and presence through the coming years. I am blessed.