Saturday, December 09, 2006
Gifts From the Heart
This astonishing Advent display belongs to a friend of mine (and thanks, Jill, for sharing your picture with me!). Each day of December has its own dedicated stocking and her two young sons are getting treats and fun every single day. She tells me that one super day, they will find a roll of Mentos in a stocking, because they've been dying to try the Mentos-in-Diet-Coke trick ever since last summer...and so they shall.
This year, I'm having a bit of trouble shopping for my parents. I'd love to fill 24 little stockings for them, but they will be moving soon. After 40-some years in the same house, they're downsizing, and the last thing they need is a few more little items from me that will need to be boxed up, moved, unpacked and stored. I come up with ideas, then I think "no...not this year".
What they NEED is about 50 good strong cardboard boxes and a mountain of packing peanuts. Wonder how they'd like it if THAT showed up on their doorstep, courtesy of the Big Brown Truck? Maybe they'll get that yet...look out, Mom and Dad.
But what would I give them, if I could give them anything?
I'd give them the first golden aspen in the fall and the first snowfall on the Front Range of the Rockies. I'd add the iris in May in the garden at the west end of the house, and staining the redwood fence on a hot afternoon.
I'd package up the aroma of dinner cooking as I walk into the house and a banana cream pie with bananas carefully left out of 1/4 of the circle. Christmas cinnamon rolls baked in the shape of a tree and clam chowder on Christmas Eve.
I'd give them dialing the phone to announce the safe delivery of a healthy grandchild, then I'd give them the same thing, twice more. I'd add the first glimpse of each child, and the first photos of tottering steps, kindergarten haircuts and Confirmation robes.
I'd wrap new white Easter shoes every year and a new dress for the first day of school. I'd wrap stepping out of the car after a 12 hour trip across Kansas or Nebraska, in August, with no air conditioning and being greeted by grandparents who had been waiting for those same 12 hours, ready to carry in suitcases and pour glasses of iced tea.
I'd put tissue paper around piano lessons, Scout meetings, new wallpaper and curtains in my bedroom, driving lessons, choir concerts and 6 bicycle trips in a single day to the elementary school to see if "class lists" were posted yet on the large windows of the cafeteria.
I'd put all of those things in small stockings if I could, but the truth of the matter is that you can't gift wrap Love.