Monday, December 22, 2008

Memorable Gifts

Some gifts have been memorable.  I'm 48 years old and still remember them partly because they were so perfect and I knew they came at great cost and the givers knew intimately what would suit me. 
 In 3rd grade, before 'maxi's were in style (at least in Idaho), after reading Little House on the Prairie and other old fashioned books, I was obsessed with a 'long prairie dress'.  
It had to be to the ankles, calico, ruffled and able to swing and swish, with a bow sash in the back. Letting my wishes be known, but mostly just dreaming of the day it could be real, I hoped.  That Christmas, I opened a soft package and shook out the perfect 'long dress'.  Tried it on immediately and twirled, skipped over wrapping and ribbons and didn't want to ever take it off.   I loved how it felt against my ankles, so practiced walking so it would swing around.   My grandmother had made it with my mom encouraging her.   I felt so loved!   Didn't care if anyone made fun of me when I wore it to school. If I was to be made fun of, I wanted it to be my pick. 
Another gift was a hand typed binder full of old folk songs from my grandmother.  Our family on my mom's side was very musical and on weekends we often got together to sing.  Everyone played something.  Guitar, harmonica, piano, organ....  
The old songs told stories verse after heartrending verse.  It was bliss to listen, even if I knew how it would end.  They were sentimental, and dramatical.   Most of them were traditional songs from the Tennessee appalachian tradition.  Young as I was, I didn't want them 'lost' and knew they needed written down.  Grandma painstakingly did just that and I received the first
original binder, full of our heritage.  Some of the tunes I can't remember any more, but when I read the words, I'm so thankful for the songs that colored my childhood. 
When I opened the package that Christmas, I couldn't speak, for somewhere in my soul I knew
it was priceless.  It is indeed one of my most treasured possessions.   
Another gift was when my mom sold her wedding ring set and bought me new shoes, a store bought dress and an engraved bracelet.  This was an EVENT!  It was pure frivolous for our lifestyle and money situation, not practical at all.   I had no idea of the sacrifice at the time, or the agony mom was going through.  
Gifts like this can't be had from Costco and Target.  Even Nordstroms doesn't sell dreams like this.  Can't find them on Amazon no matter what credit card you have.........
Only love, like the Gift of the Magi, brings a present like this..... 

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