lots of folks had to really 'cut back' this year...and i'm guessing there were many who had no gifts under their tree. i've heard so many speak of lay-offs and pay cuts, etc. it's a very sobering thought, particularly at christmas time. but even though we didn't lavish each other as we normally do, what i noticed was the great care and thought that went into those gifts that were given. beautiful, loving, intentional gifts. one in particular....
was from my stunningly gorgeous (inside and out!) niece. she's a freshman in college now...and home just for the holiday. hadn't seen her since thanksgiving, and so when i walked in, she seemed to have grown even more beautiful than she was just 6 short weeks ago. crazy! we did our usual pouring of champagne/sparkling cider thing...and than gathered 'round the tree for our exchanges. she insisted i open hers first.
the way we do it in my sister's home is 1 at a time, and all others wait til that 1 is opened. it's kinda cool, cuz all eyes are on the recipient...and so all eyes can take in the joy together. cool stuff. so...
i open the wrapping and there's a big box that reads 'dura flame logs'. i giggled and said, "oh yea! i get to build fires!", knowing, of course, they were not logs (not enough weight, ya know) and she says, "TIA! COME ON! OPEN IT!!!" I could feel her excitement, so i ripped into the box and found not 1, not 2 but THREE "bowls" that were made from old vinyl records of my very favorite artist in the world (who also happened to pass on last december). i couldn't believe me eyes!
i could just feel the love she'd put into making them. and that she chose my 3 faves made it even more amazing. what a fantastic thing to do! she made those bowls with her own lovely hands....just for me. the tears just kept falling.
she wasn't the only one who sent me hand made gifts. i received so many treasures from people far away...some of whom i've never even met face-to-face. they made those gifts for ME...with their hands...and all that love. and each time another arrived, i'd open it up and gasp. how could all this love be comin' to ME?????
well, here's what i know:
i am loved by many
i am loved very well
and i deserve this love
else i wouldn't be so showered in it.
my best gift of all, this.
to finally know that the love is mine...and that it's real.
this is what christmas means to me.
i love you all, mia famiglia.