I don’t know about you, but gifts have always been a big part of my Christmas. When I was little, my maternal grandparents would get my cousin and myself several small gifts and wrap them all together in one giant box. It was a major highlight of Christmas Eve – opening that box that contained so many surprises just for me.
My cousin would get so mad at me because I was never the type to carefully remove the wrapping paper – oh no, I was the dig right in and get on with the unwrapping! Unfortunately for her, the items in our boxes were always the same, so in my hurry to unwrap I would undoubtedly spoil part of the surprise for her.
The items my grandparents gave us were never extravagant and looking back, I’d compare the box to a giant grab bag of toys and trinkets you might pick up at the dollar store. But still, all those little things added up to something so much more.
In fact, I can only remember one specific item in all the years of boxes – a cheerleader shaped toothbrush of all things. And, instead of the gifts, what I remember most is the joy that was present. Truly, the joy was the present. I remember lots of laughter. Jokes. Joy. Smiles. and the smell of apple cider. I remember the feelings over the gifts and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The other highlight of my Christmas season was decorating my paternal grandmother’s Christmas Tree. Grandma never had much money, and gifts from her were few, but in all honesty, I never really noticed. She gave something else to me each season. She gave time, and not just any time, but childhood time. Time that encouraged me that beautiful wasn’t always perfect or expensive, but was happy.
As I sit here and recall all those happy Christmases, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of happiness. A sweet nostalgia. A wonderful memory. So here’s to you and your family this Christmas season. May you be filled with joy. May you take the time to invest in your family and create happy memories. May your days be Merry & Bright.