Thursday, December 22, 2011

Simple Gifts

It is a rare and precious gift for me to get the house all to myself at any given time. In fact, it usually only happens once a year for about two hours...and while I LOVE my family to pieces, I look forward to that alone time almost as much as Christmas morning.

I have made it a tradition for the past few years now to throw myself a little holiday wrapping party. Eric takes the kids for the evening, and I get the chance to spread everything out in the living room, turn on one of my favorite Christmas movies, and do something I love without any distractions. It's a great party. Maybe one day I'll invite a friend or two, but for now the table is set for one and I am my favorite company. :)

As soon as the garage door closes I rush around like a crazy person to bring all of the boxes up from the basement so that I can have as much time as possible to take my time and enjoy wrapping all of the presents. I know that they're just going to get ripped to shreds anyway, but there's something therapeutic in wrapping my kids' gifts that I can't explain. I take a lot of time hunting down those particular gifts, and I enjoy imagining the girls playing with their toys and using their new things. So it makes sense to me to wrap a little l.o.v.e within the packages that I hope will bring my kids a little joy on Christmas morning.

Yes, it's cheesy. I totally get that. But I am a big cheese ball, so it's all good.

Last night Eric took the girls to see their grandparents while I partied it up. It was the BEST wrapping shindig to date! I didn't lose my pen or my tape a million times, there were no paper cuts to speak of, and our awesome Toy Story wrapping paper made crisp edges and covered every square inch of our presents and then some - just one roll did the entire job! I was well pleased.

As a kid there was no greater rush for me than to turn the corner in the wee hours of Christmas morning and see all of our presents displayed under the tree for the first time. I'm trying to muster up that feeling in the pit of my stomach right now, but I just can't do it. I don't know if that insane excitement will ever be duplicated in my lifetime. My heart aches in the best way for the memories of the little girl I was a decade or two ago and how much fun my parents made Christmas for us. So of course I place a high importance on arranging presents just so for the biggest WOW factor for my kiddos. And I think this year at least one of my kids is going to really get it...get that feeling right in the gut.

I did a little practice run with the gifts last night after they were all dressed up, and I am pretty happy with the results. :) Even without the couches or the folding chairs it appears as though we stretched our dollars once again to give the girls a nice Christmas. I can't wait to arrange the real thing.

The idea of giving gifts in our family is of high importance, because it opens up the door for so many teachable moments. Evelyn is learning the joy of giving this year in a big way. She has seen all of the presents that we're giving to other children, and she cannot WAIT for her uncle John and cousin Austin to get their new toys. She talks excitedly about giving presents to John and Austin every day, and her enthusiasm is even teaching ME a few things.

Gift giving opens up the door for even deeper discussions about the ultimate gift that encompasses the entire reason our family celebrates this holiday. And that of course would be the gift of Jesus. A baby who was born to die. His gift to us was his life. Our babies aren't old enough to truly understand what that means, but we tell 'em anyway. I look at my girls at this time of the year, and I can't help but think about Mary and what it was like for her to birth and raise a perfect child. As strange as it sounds, somehow I don't think I would be up to the task! :)

The flip side to giving is that, at this time of the year, it seems that people are more willing to open themselves up to receive. And that manifests itself in all sorts of ways. We want to receive love from the ones we care about. We want to receive smiles from a stranger. We want to receive reminders that we're all human beings doing this together, no matter how vastly different we all may be. I dunno. Just seems like if there's any time of the year that people are living with an open palmed-heart instead of a closed-fisted heart, it's right now. Giving and receiving is just plain awesome on so many levels.

And my computer gave me a little gift tonight, too. Just for the heck of it I tried randomly uploading one of the videos I recorded for you last weekend, and it worked! So now, if ya feel like it, you can check out what the girls are getting in their stockings this year. :) Warning: I am a dork. You have been warned. Oh, and I SWEAR I didn't mean to tell you that your marriage sucks.'ll see.

So there you have it! I think that about wraps up all of the pre-season stuff for the year 2011. Wow. Can't believe i just typed that! See ya tomorrow for a little Christmas Confession Friday!


Heather said...

I haven't even started wrapping yet. I do best under pressure.

Jackie said...

I would love that....I wrap yesterday and Loreli wanted to help...not a good combination!


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