Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Real gifts

My paycheck finally hit the bank today, which was so incredibly needed since I kept waiting to buy all the Christmas gifts. So I immediately logged some serious online shopping time and my check card, which is now hiding in tears at the bottom of my purse, felt the burn.

As I was choosing the gifts for my kids, I ended up thinking a lot about my past Christmas memories. I remembered when my parents would do anything in the world to get me that one big toy I wanted. The top story will always be when my incredibly religious mother broke her "no shopping on Sunday" rule to try to get me a Cabbage Patch Kid. Fights broke out... things went insane... and my mom left toy-less. To this day, while the no shopping rule has long since been dropped, Mom will say she didn't get a Cabbage Patch Kid that day because she was somewhere that she knew she shouldn't be.

Next I started thinking about the gifts that really mean something. And there was one that came to mind.

I was around the same age as my daughter is now (pre-teen) and, coming up to Christmas, my mom kept telling me that Mamaw was so excited about a Christmas gift she had for me and, no matter what, to make sure I thanked her. She told me that it may not matter much now, but one day I would really value it. On Christmas day, I opened the package to find a full, beautiful quilt that my grandmother had hand-quilted just for me. It had butterflies on it and she even picked all of my favorite colors. And, even as a pre-teen, I didn't have to act like it mattered. It mattered more than I could say. She even embroidered my name and the date in the corner of it.

Many years later, I was sitting on my bed painting and a little spot got on the quilt. I tried and tried to wash it out, but couldn't. I went to Mom sobbing that I had ruined Mamaw's quilt. The fact that Mom couldn't even see it until I pointed it out several times didn't stop the guilt.

Over the years, the spot faded dramatically and even I had to really look to find it. But now my daughter sleeps under that quilt. Now THAT, my friends, is a gift!


Doc said...

I know what you mean about real gifts. Something like that quilt just cannot be bought and it's meaning to you can never be replaced.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Yes, a familiar and handmade quilt! Nothing like it. I was given one of my own from my grandmother years ago too. It is frayed and delicate, so I no longer use it, but after my parents both passed away, we brought all the quilts grandmother had made from their house. I have a load of them, now.

Paige said...

Mine has held up well so far. My great aunt passed away not too long ago and she left behind this trunk full of beautiful quilts she had made. It's a skill I always wished I had both the talent and patience for, but I don't.

And no it can definitely never be replaced. Just seeing my name stitched into it makes me happy. Especially as her health continues to fail. Although if there's one thing I know about Mamaw it's that she's tough as hell!