The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis
Sometimes I have a good idea and having readers share favorite Christmas memories with me was a very good idea. I have enjoyed the stories so much as I read about the things and events that have meant the most to my reading friends. One thing that dominated the stories was the memory of times with family. That's what made Christmas special for so many. A grandmother's or father's gift that shone with love. And isn't that what Christmas should show? "For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son..." Christmas is when we celebrate that first gift of love to us.
I couldn't share all the stories, but please be sure I did read all of them and felt the joy in the telling. Since we are still in Christmas week I wanted to share forward a few more. First from Denise. " My husband and I were married in 1992. Only one of my grandmas was able to come. My other grandma was older and lived 500 miles away. She sent me a beautiful quilt for Christmas. Not everyone would think it was beautiful; Grandma always made-do with whatever fabric was on hand. I guess you could call that quilt a " quilt of many colors" like Jacob's coat. Grandma never had much, but if you needed something, she'd give you all she had. Love was always in abundance.""
I know about the love shown in quilts. The quilt my aunt made for me the year I was born is one of my most treasured possessions. It's good to receive great presents that show love, but it's also good to give gifts of love the way Gina and her son did on one special Christmas.
My favorite adult memory is from the first year I had a job where I made " good" money. My son and I had so much fun buying my sisters and parents gifts that year. We didn't have to worry about money. Since my son's father had died when he was a baby, and my dad had been such a great grandfather to him, my son picked out a gold " Dad" ring for my father and I bought my mother a beautiful music box from Neiman Marcus. It was the most expensive gift I had ever purchased for anyone, and she was so tickled by it she cried. It made our Christmas complete to know that our specially chosen gifts meant that much more because they were appreciated. My son still recalls that Christmas now and it's over 10 years later, so I know it was special to him too!
Last, let's hear from Beth who had a Christmas that didn't go quite as she planned. " My favorite Christmas gift is a diamond pendant that my husband bought for me when I wasn't really expecting anything that grand on that year because things were very tight money wise and then I ended up in the hospital on Christmas eve with kidney stones. So I say that year I received some rocks I wanted and some I didn’t."
It's good that Beth can smile about something that couldn't have been fun at the time. I've had some Christmases like that. One when my youngest was almost two and I had so anticipated his fun opening his presents. Then he had a virus and was too sick to care what was under the tree. Another time I had the flu and couldn't take part in the festivities. But those are little things - disappointing, but not all that hard. The really hard times are those first Christmases after a loved one dies. Christmas and all the special memories of times together make the hurt of the loss keener. So thank you all for the happy, fun memories, but if you're one who had to get through a Christmas that couldn't live up to expectations because of a missing loved one or financial problems or sickness, then you are in my prayers. May the coming year ease your heart, fill it with memories of love and bring back the joy of Christmas in 2012.
I'll draw for the winners of my giveaway before the year is out. Wish I could give you all a gift because you truly have given me a gift by sharing your stories. Happy New Year!! I'll talk to you in 2012.