It’s summed up best, I think, by Sir Paul McCartney. “Simply having a wonderful Christmas time.”
I had remarked, on everyone’s new favorite mode of communication, Facebook, or fb to the more seasoned hip readers, such as myself….ahem, that it was going a be a slim Christmas in the Vi house. A gal’fran commented that sometimes those are the best and that is the truth.
We ending up with not a big stack of loot, but a meaningful one, as there were no “standard last minute gifts”, but each reflected something we love. Those gifts give both ways. To the receiver, a new view of a cherish icon. I received a paperweight with a drawing of the Eiffel Tower under a glass dome. If you find yourself on my side of the bullpen, stop by my cubicle and I’ll show it to you. To the giver, the gift of knowing your choice and the story that goes along with how it came to you is something that will be remembered and told and retold. How the Eiffel Tower thing you had planned on getting because the giftee said back in August that she loved it, was sold at Kirkland’s and you found an even better gift at Pier One, and it was hiding under a display table. Something drew your eyes there, and there it sat. “Bonjour, I am over here.”
I received the gift of appreciation. Economic circumstances have led me to be that lady that gives baked gifts. I’ve always heard that those were the best gifts, but I wasn’t sure I believed it. It certainly requires a lot of work, even if it is cheaper, by the time you add man hours, its value rises. Of course, the giftee doesn’t see that part; they see and experience yummy goodness (hopefully). I took Friday, Christmas Eve, off from work to prepare the buffet that preceded our gift exchange. The house filled with savory aromas, background noise provided by Turner Classic Movies with their Christmas movie line up. Mel and Sk8rBoi did whatever housekeeping chore I asked of them, and Mel never even complained or whined, that was a gift in itself. I’m proud to say my cooking endeavors were met with oohs and aahs and what Dr Frederic Frankenstein would refer to as “yummy sounds”.
Christmas is a magic time. Forgiveness comes easier; the kid in you comes out to play with all other kids that come out at Christmas time. In the sitting around and hanging out that comes after the gift blitz, we reminisce about crazy things we’ve done, how we found the perfect gift. We enjoy a second trip to the eats, maybe have a cocktail. Laugh, love and wonder at the things we learn about each other.
As I was helping Mel put her new down mattress topper on her bed, I noticed a quarter on the floor. “I’ve been practicing with that,” she said and took it from me. She began to roll the quarter through her fingers, clumsily, cos she’s still perfecting her moves, but it’s something I can’t do, would never have even thought of trying. I was amazed; it was an extra little Christmas surprise. This morning, waiting for X2 to pick her up, she told me how she had been practicing for three days as she rolled it over her fingers. Her Dad came in and began explaining how it is done. He’s an explainer, you know. Ask him the time, he tells you how to make a watch. Turns out, when he was Mel’s age, he also taught himself this trick. I’m always astonished at the things we inherit. This isn’t the first time Mel has exhibited X2’s phenomenal ability to self teach. This is a gift he passes onto his daughter through DNA. My gift to her is to the ability to make people laugh and the love of words. Mel’s gift to us? Showing us the younger version of ourselves with renewed hope and promise.
Christmas 1995, I received the greatest gift ever. News that I was with child. I found out Dec 23 that Mel was on her way. Very apropos, too, as I had prayed for this miracle and news of it came to me as we commemorate that most important birth.