Tuesday, December 4, 2012
My Favorite Christmas Gift
As we get into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I find December to be the hardest month to sit down and write. I am like an elf juggling candy canes in a blizzard. There you have it. A brief and very accurate simile of my December lifestyle. (And, yes, I already have a picture book story churning on this.) As I contemplated the necessity to update my blog with something inspirational about writing, I totally drew a blank. So I opted instead, to share something I hope others find inspirational. Last year, my then 7 year-old daughter came home on a mission. She was downright giddy over a special gift exchange in her class. As the Cane Juggler, I frantically rooted through her backpack to find the specifics. I needed a due date. I needed a monetary limit. I needed details. I found nothing. As my little one began pulling paper and glue from our craft closet, I confronted her. “What do I need to do or buy for this gift exchange?” She smiled and responded, “You don’t need to do or buy anything. I’ve got it covered.” So, for the next few hours, she plotted and planned her gift. I gradually pulled more details from her and found out that the exchange was an impromptu idea between her and a few friends. As a Recovering Helicopter Mom, I refrained from offering to buy a toy from Target, and let her make a present. After every piece was in place, she called me over to look at her creation. It. Was. Beautiful. So beautiful, I wanted it. I wanted it so much that I tried unsuccessfully to offer up the Target toy at that point. She loved that I loved it, but delicately reminded me that she did not make it for me, she made it for her friend. Although I’m sure I probably chewed off a significant portion of my tongue, I said no more. The following day, my daughter had me drive her to school so her present wouldn’t be damaged. I asked her the name of the child it was intended for and she innocently told me. I secretly contemplated contacting the child’s Mom to reacquire the present. How could that little girl possibly appreciate this gift as much as I did? Yet, I knew it was not meant for me, so I snapped one picture and painfully let it go. Later that afternoon, my daughter stepped off the bus and ran over to hug me. I asked, “How was the gift exchange?” She smiled and responded, “Well, no one else brought a gift in.” For a brief moment, I became really excited, thinking I would have that gift after all. But my daughter continued to tell me that although her gift was the only present, she still gave it to her friend. My daughter also told me that she told all her friends she made her present as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. Although I do not have it in my possession, her homemade nativity will always be my favorite Christmas gift. Please check out the picture of it below.