The kids and I decided to not try to buy gifts for each other and just plan a week's vacation at a cottage on a lake up north next summer. I liked the idea and since we had gifts for the two new babies in our families we had a reason to get together for Christmas gift opening.
But as I contemplated on the "leftovers" of Christmas it was mostly the gifts I received that were unintended, I will long remember.
The picture of my good friend with her grand daughter and the cuddle quilt I made for them. Good friends are truly a treasure. The unexpected gift of pink booties for my grand daughter's baptism from a church woman. What a warm and blessings filled gift. The great "bread" conversation I had with my nephew and the promise of a loan of the cookbook he uses to create such wonderful bread. The promise of another nephew, he was still looking for the interior window shades for the french door he had sold us in October. The bright smile of my grandson, Luca as he reached out to touch my dog, Gauge's inquiring nose. Another good friend going Christmas shopping with me at an antique warehouse. We didn't buy anything, but spent a long lunch just talking. The brown Christmas that was brightened by sunshine to be a beautiful day even without snow. Grand daughter, Vittoria's serenading everyone with her happy singing, music to my ears. A long, warm hug from my brother in law, Kris, one that shared so much and understood all. Watching my brother, Kim delight in his grandson's opening of his Christmas gift. Great niece, Tara's love of all things, Shelby, (her aunt and uncle's yellow lab retriever), stowed away in my mom's basement while we celebrated Christmas. Peter introducing Rowan and Autumn to the wonders of Angry Birds on his iphone. Autumn in her wonderful red polka dot dress with matching polka dot tights given as a gift from Aunt Kamie. A hug from an old and good friend after church Christmas morning, congratulating me on my grandchildren, calling me "Grandma", and confessing that he now had 5 grandchildren. Christmas shopping with Annie on a drear day, and having so much fun. My niece, Gina feeding her son, Wyatt carrots out of a jar while sitting on the floor with him. The generations of Walter's congregating at my mom's house for Christmas and loving each other. These are the unexpected and wonderful things I received this Christmas. It can't be measured in dollars and can't be equated a value. They will be added as priceless memories.
The gathering of family is a cherished Christmas tradition and one I know will change and fluctuate as the season's pass and we are added to and subtracted from. My dear Kurt's annual Christmas card, something I count on more than any gift. The gathering around the big oak table at Mom's before we eat Christmas brunch and singing, "Happy Birthday to Jesus", holding hands and lighting a birthday candle my nephew made for his grandma 30 years earlier. The Christmas story read and remembered in service, song and story, as in the end, it is the Greatest Gift of all....
These are the gifts of Christmas..