Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Gift of Giving

Is there any better feeling this time of year than driving up to your house on a cold dreary night and seeing your Christmas tree winking at you through the front windows? Maybe, but tonight I can’t think of one.

Walker and his dad got the tree up mostly without me. Even better, they did it on their own without complaining. Dad did the assembling and Walker provided the Christmas music which he always has cranked up beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving. I eventually did my share of the ornaments because I love them so. Some years we draft the rest of the family to help, mainly so I can re-tell the stories of the ornaments, but this year we just did them ourselves.

About ninety percent of my ornaments have some sort of story.

I remember one year when it seemed like my ornaments had an almost magical power over me. As I was hanging the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat that one of my sewing students had painted for me many years before, I felt absolutely compelled to call Jane to tell her how much I still loved them. When I asked her how she had been, she replied, “Well, I’m dying.”

A few days later, I did what every good friend should do for those she cares about, I baked a pound cake and took it to her. Jane answered the door looking like she stepped out of Talbot's catalog in cute red plaid slacks and a turtleneck and a Christmas sweater, but it was obvious that she was quite ill. “Is there anything at all that I can do for you or your family?” I asked hopefully.

“Well, there is one thing, if you wouldn’t mind.... You may know… Amy is pregnant. I’d like to mend some of her baby clothes you helped me make and get them ready for the baby. I don't have time or energy to make new ones. Will you help me?”

Jane gave me the opportunity to give to her. As I re-attached lace and covered a couple of pinholes with bullion roses, I knew I was giving her grandchild something that she could not. What a precious gift.


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