Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday and The True Meaning of Gift Giving

I have one particular holiday memory
that has stayed with me through the years.
A gift My Mother gave to me,
perhaps unknowing that,

that one gift still lives in My heart.

When I was a child, My older Sister was ill.
She had been born with a heart defect.
In those days, they didn't have the abilities & medical
miracles We have today.
My dad had a great job, My grandparents helped out
But the bills from Her illness were overwhelming.

When My Sister passed there wasn't enough money
For Her funeral. 
Family chipped in.
To make matters worse for My parents,
I had needed surgery.

My Parents & Grandparents always did the best
for us.  The holidays were a special time.
But this one year, the expenses weighed heavily.
As a child I had no understanding of these things.
There was a sadness in Our home.
My Mother seemed different.
She explained we were not to expect much that year.
Try to make a child understand that.
I suppose I was maybe 7...

On the corner of Our house was a small toy store.
The old fashioned kind.
The owners knew everyone in the neighborhood.
As kids we'd wander in the small shop,
To us it was a wonderland, filled with anything we could dream of.
That Christmas Eve,
My mother dressed us & took us down to the toy store.
She spoke with the owners for quite some time.
Then gathered My little Sister & I up,
heading back home.

I'm not quite sure I really understood but I remember feeling sad.
I wouldn't be getting what other children would.

That next day there was a miracle.
I opened a package containing a doll.
There were other small packages.
In these packages were doll clothes.
My mother had waited until Christmas Eve.
She went to the toy store and asked the owners what they had
to sell her at a discount.
Some doll clothes that had been damaged.
She sewed them.
My Mother made sure We had something to open.

Although I've received many beautiful gifts over
the years,
I can't recall them as vividly as I recall this.
I will always carry this one gift in My heart.
The truth about gift giving is
Not in how much We spend,
It's not about standing in line waiting for the latest toy,
or gadget.
It's not about the newest, the shiniest, the best.
The truth about gift giving is the love behind the gift.

It would serve us well to remember this before running off
to the store.
Perhaps it's not to late to put Spirit back into the holidays.


  1. A wonderful memory of how your Mom turned a negative situation into a positive truth. Makes me think of those lines from the Grinch story -- "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more."

  2. Beautiful post. Sad but beautiful. You are absolutely right, let it come from the heart instead of from a store. That's the best present anyone can give.