First of all, my parents gave one special gift each Christmas, and then clothes and such. I loved getting new patent leather shoes just before Christmas. I loved the smell of these new shoes and always slept with my shoes next to my pillow for a few nights.
My first favorite gift was a marionette doll. I was about 7 years old and it was all I dreamed about that year. My doll was so cute. I loved making him walk and, with time, became very good at it. The only problem I had was a younger sister, who didn’t see value in the doll because it wasn’t her wish, and she got the strings tangled all of the time. I remember my father painstakingly unknotting the strings over and over.
My second favorite gift was in 5th grade whenI got a chemistry set. I wanted that so bad I just knew that my parents would think it was frivolous and why would I need or want it, but they got it for me because it was my one Christmas wish. I got up Christmas morning and felt the wrapped gifts until I found the one that was in three parts with a clasp. Yup, it was under the tree. I had to wait patiently for that gift to be passed out. We opened one gift at a time and then moved on to the next person and the gift they would open. To be honest, this gift was the last one I received from both parents as my father died before the next Christmas. This isn’t the reason it is on the list as it truly was one of my favorites but probably the reason I loved it and remember it so dearly.
My third favorite gift was the opal ring I got from my husband, Mike, the year we got married. He knew I am not a patient person and I was known to cut the tape on gifts to see what was in them and then tape them exactly with new tape so no one would know. We had a white Christmas tree with gold balls on it our first Christmas as seen in the picture with this blog, and he wrapped the small gift in gold paper and put it in the center of the tree. I never found it! He gave it to me Christmas morning and was delighted he was able to actually surprise me.
My fourth favorite gift was also from Mike. I was pregnant and my grandmother had passed away in October and my Mom and 2 sisters were flying to Alaska to visit my older sister for Christmas. My grandfather was going to Florida with my Aunt and Uncle so there wouldn’t be anyone home to have Christmas with that year. Even Mike’s parents were going to his sister’s house in Minnesota. We decided not to put up a tree since I was 8 months pregnant. Mike worked at night at the newspaper and got home about 4 a.m. When I got up in the morning he had purchased a new tree, got new ornaments (you guessed it – gold again) and got colored lights and had the tree all decorated in the living room when I walked out from our bedroom. What a wonderful surprise.
I have one more really special Christmas gift that I received. Mike was a hunter and every year he grew his beard out for the hunting season. If you are from Michigan you have seen the signs around that say “Think SNOW” coming into deer season. The men grew beards for “deer season.” Even the newspaper we worked at had signs throughout saying “Think SNOW” as it was also full of hunters like Mike and his Dad. If you don’t know what this sign means, then you aren’t a hunter and not from a northern state. The season was only two weeks long and the beard was to be shaven after December 1st. It didn’t happen this particular year. On Christmas morning I woke up to a baggie, tied with a red bow to match its contents – Mike’s red beard hair. I think it is now my favorite Christmas gift memory even though I love his gray beard now as he is SANTA!
By the way, immediately after deer season the signs changed to “Think GREEN!” as we put up with snow every year in the winter but truly look forward to spring and the green grass and trees full of beautiful leaves.
We don’t need a lot of gifts, we need a lot of memories that last for years to come. Family dinners and time with loved ones making yearly memories. Did you receive tons of gifts or one great gift like I did as a kid? What is your favorite Christmas gift memory? I would love to hear my sister's favorite gifts, too.