This week, we share some of your responses to our request for your “best gift ever.” While the responses were fewer than we had hoped, they are nonetheless great to read. Be sure to read them. And if you missed the opportunity to send us your response, you can share your own answer in the comments on that page.
That exercise got me thinking how I would answer that question. What was my best gift ever? (I’m still waiting on my diamond tennis bracelet. It’s never gonna happen, but it’s now the wish that spawns a lot of jokes within my family.)
One of my most memorable childhood Christmases, wasn’t so much about the gift — a Jane West doll, thank you very much! — but about the fact that I had to wait until late Christmas day for it.
When I was about 5 or 6, there was a cold snap around Christmas when nighttime temperatures were in single digits and daytime temps barely made it into the 20s. Mom had brilliantly stashed our Christmas gifts in the trunk of the car — far away from prying eyes.
And then the trunk, not-so-brilliantly and very stubbornly, froze shut. Which, of course, Mom didn’t discover until after church Christmas Eve. Thawing out the car trunk at midnight wasn’t on Dad’s plan. So the gifts stayed in the trunk. Cue the wailing on Christmas morning.
But Mom redeemed herself when I was about 7 or 8, and she accomplished the equivalent of finding that year’s hot item — think Cabbage Patch Doll, Tickle-Me Elmo, the Wii game console when it first came out, or this year’s hot item, the L.O.L. Surprise! dolls.
The Woman of the Year somehow found Ideal Toy Company’s Crissy and Velvet dolls for my sister and me. You could adjust the length of these dolls’ hair, to give them either long or short hair. The hair magically pulled out of the top of their head, and then you could crank it back in to make it short again.
Our “city cousins”, Jennifer and Julie, who were our age, also got Crissy and Velvet dolls that year. During that year, Carol sewed outfits for our two dolls and whenever we got together with Jennifer and Julie, we traded our homemade clothing for their store-bought wardrobes and accessories. I mean, store-bought doll clothes? Score!
But perhaps the best gift came just last year when our two adult children got Keith and I a weekend cabin outing in southern Ohio. With them. (Wait, they want to spend time with us?) The six of us (our family now includes a spouse and a fiance) headed to the Hocking Hills in March, and spent a great weekend hiking, eating, laughing and playing games.
The gift of someone’s time is perhaps the best gift of all.
From our house to all of yours, wishing you a very Merry Christmas and health and happiness in the New Year. May you always make time for those you love, and for those who need to see love in action.
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