Now that the dreaded Black Friday has come and gone, here is a short little Meme to properly kick off the holiday season.
Name five of your favorite all time gifts. Either given or gotten.
1. Sisterknits! Our third child, by the time she was on the way there were more diagnostic tools in use, and the doctors told me she would be born on Christmas Day. Yeah, right, I said. Well, Christmas morning I was the first one up, as usual, and I realized we needed to hurry through the stockings and drop SonShineIn and Cordeliaknits off at their grandparents' house on the way to the hospital! I remember watching the repeat of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival in the labor room and bringing her home in a Christmas stocking. She is still the best Christmas present ever and will be again when she comes to visit us on the 21st. (The other two were born on Danish Day (a moveable feast) and International Children's Book Day, respectively, and they are wonderful gifts too.)2. I'm not sure if it was my summer birthday or Christmas, but when I was 10 I received a clock radio from my parents. I felt so grown up! I could set the alarm if I needed to, and I could listen to all kinds of stations, although it was mostly WNEW for Make-Believe Ballroom Time, WNYC for Oscar Brand's folk music show and WINS (Murray the K kept me up-to-date on all the latest rock-and-roll hits). It was one of those gifts I hadn't asked for or even knew I wanted but became one of my most-used possessions.
3. Maybe 25 years ago or so, I was living in Minnesota and my winter jacket was a rather lightweight parka more suitable for, say, Connecticut. My sister-in-law The Traveler was into sewing down items from kits at the time (she made a comforter and a sleeping bag, for example) and she sewed me a down parka. Still better, she gave it to me at Thanksgiving -- and we had an extremely cold and early winter that year. I probably would have frozen to death doing my (on the bus) Christmas shopping, had she not given me the coat early! It was so warm, and lasted several years before the stuffing began to come out.
4. Onkel Hankie Pants has given me many fine presents over the years; I'm wearing one now, my deliciously warm L. L. Bean fleece bathrobe. The very best gifts, though,have been gifts of his own creation -- poems along the way and, for a Significant Birthday, even a hymn (lyrics, set to Brother James' Air).
5. I am not really sure which of the tangible gifts I have given over the years have been most appreciated by their recipients. I am proud of (and I think they appreciate) the gift that Onkel Hankie Pants and I gave our children. If you've read about the recent study on declining literacy, you will know why I am happy that our children (one is in the 18-24 bracket, the others in the 25-35) do in fact read for pleasure and information as well as the books they "have to" read. (One is in college and one in graduate school so they do have a lot of required reading as well). We both read to them from infancy on, and I'm afraid the best way for them to get our undivided attention was to ask for a story -- they also saw that we enjoyed reading and talking about books. I know there are people who've done the same and yet their children don't care to read -- I guess it's just another proof that the good giver also needs a good receiver.
I tag Cordeliaknits, Celeste, and Onkel Hankie Pants. But anyone is welcome to play!