Presents...I love them..I love to think about them, buy them, make them, give them and receive them. I like them on traditional gift-giving holidays and also on days where there is nothing on the calendar that requests a gift.
I tend to send thank you notes as soon as a gift is received, (thanks mom) but lately I have gone back over the long list of presents that I have been lucky enough to receive and realize that some of these gifts merit MORE thanks...yes..they were THAT wonderful!
Most of these presents had much more wrapped up in them than the actual gift.
Mom and Dad...you gave me the gift of knowing what it felt like to be a beloved member of our family, a group of people that supported me, loved me and laughed at my terrible jokes...even the ones that got me banished from the dinner table when I was 15 because I. would. not. stop. telling. them!
My drawers are full of amazingly fun and funny presents from my children...the semi-real gold elephant charm with the not so semi-real emerald imbedded in its' side, bought and ordered through the mail, (before the internet) by a ten year old, because it brought good luck as well as being green!
Along with the Mother's Day cards over the years, I have a few of the notes that were left on the kitchen table, when my kids were teenagers, detailing who would be where and what time my kids would be coming home or calling to check in..again pre-texting:), they are a slice of life that tell me, my kids were giving me the gift of checking in, despite what they thought of it, because it eased my mind.
Will I ever stop saving words? I don't think so, the beautiful hand-written letter I got this year from my daughter thanking me for years of mothering, is a keeper...and will be re-read again...and again..and again!
Other gifts that I remember and give thanks for anew...
The gift of happy memories...thanks for the birthday sky dive, the travel that has added so much to my life, the lake home, the way you honor and take care of your kids and mine, all of the animals and the countless ways you encourage and support every idea that flashes across my brain and ends up as conversation during our "debriefs", over dinner or in the front seat of the car!(p.s. my iPhone is also amazing!)
My sisters give me fun gifts that always make me smile or laugh...original art and photography, silly cards, and one of the best..the Scotch cooler..who knew??
Other gifts that deserve another round of thanks and if you are reading this you know who you are:
The bottles of wine labeled with the picture of animals no longer with us, and words that make me remember and smile.
The gift of organizing, cleaning and straightening my living space, saving us all from the randomness of my idea of controlled chaos, this one goes on the list right under the gift of loving my son.
The gift of the camera that was passed on to me, opening up the door and introducing me to the delights of digital SLR photography.
The set of skies, secondhand, that my dad re-invented for better than new, every night after he came home from work when I was 13.
The skates, golf clubs, bike, kayak that were not only gifts but doors to the gift of trying new things.
Tennis lessons from a very patient offspring and for showing up at a match I was in, because it was fun to have the tables turned, and watch mom after years of mom watching kids!
The t-shirt bought by a child for me at an event for the same reason!
The childhood friends of my kids who stay in touch now as adults...awesome!
This list could go much longer..but to everyone who has gifted me with these and other gifts not mentioned...thank you.
Your gifts then, have helped me to become who I am ...now.