Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Gift to be Simple

I think Jack was in 5th grade the year that he gave me my favorite present I ever received.  That year, the school he attended held some sort of activity where students could exchange tickets for gifts for their family members.  Jack had carefully selected one item for each member of the family and informed my mom that he wouldn't need any help Christmas shopping that year.  He had it under control.

He wrapped each gift and started what became a several-years-long tradition of including a handwritten note in each.  I don't remember exactly what mine said, but I still keep the gift he gave me displayed proudly with my prized possessions. 

I had been collecting porcelain dolls for several years, generally receiving one each birthday and Christmas.  By this time, I must have had nearly twenty, with two favorites in particular marking important milestones in my life.  My mom gave me a beautiful doll with brown curly hair clad in a beautiful gold and black dress when I graduated from high school.  The second I received on my wedding day. 

I guess Jack knew this about me, although I hadn't realized he had paid any attention.  But when it was my turn to unwrap my gift, I revealed a six-inch tall porcelain doll in velvet and fur carrying a Christmas package.  That he'd picked it out on his own meant so much to me.  That he had paid for it with his own tickets added to its sentimental value.  But that Jack knew I loved porcelain dolls has stuck with me ever since.

It's that time of year when I probably ought to start thinking of Christmas.  When gifts need to be bought and wrapped in preparation for the joy of Christmas morning.  As I head out into busy stores with flashing lights and noisy advertisements, I hope I can remember my joy on a Christmas 12 years ago and remember 'tis a gift to be simple.