"The gifts were really tokens, like cut straw for brooms or small squares of leather for sandals. Still, everyone made a fuss over what he or she had received, and there were hugs and loud expressions of thanks. '...It's not the value of the gift, but the philosophy of giving and receiving...It's a hard world all in all, and to receive a present means someone else cares for you, that you're not alone."--The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn
I'm winding down from Christmas, and I love the wind down although it leaves me a little teary-eyed. I'll miss all the mail. Christmas cards started to be my favorite part of Christmas when Stacy passed on. I felt that they connected me to all those people that knew her and those that she loves--and I love.
Every year The Warlock's grandma sends The Warlock's mom jars of jam to send on to us. I have the jam at eye level in my pantry, and I think of her. Pippi wears this poncho that my grandma made for her a couple of years ago. I wonder if I will think of my grandchildren and great grandchildren at Christmas time. And I wonder if they will visit me. I also wonder if I will know how to garden and can jams and sew by the time I am a grandmother. I think by living so far away from family I'm missing out on a lot of my mother's knowledge. It would be so much easier to learn how to do all the things she tried to teach me when I was a kid now that I actually want to know them and am interested in doing them.
I'm also thinking about Sister J at church who leads the music. She sends Christmas Cards with a family update to everyone in the ward. She's a great-grandma herself. When I told her how much I liked hearing about her family in her Christmas Card, she told me that she, in all of her years of marriage only received Christmas gifts from her husband a couple of times because she chose to send out Christmas cards rather than receive gifts. She told me that she sent out 500 Christmas cards this year. What joy the people around her must bring her. I'm so glad I go to church so I can know her.
Today as I was gathering ingredients for Chex Party Mix, I thought about my Dad. How my mom was not kidding when she always told me he is the finest man she knows.