My Grandmother's Gift-It Keeps on Giving

Real Estate Agent SL3287291

My grandparents on my mothers side of the family had 16 children and 54 grandchildren (not counting great grands).

I always enjoyed going to their house to visit because no matter how big a crowd was gathered it seemed my grandmother had enough time for each and every one.


One Christmas, we went to the grandparents and stayed the night on Christmas Eve. They had a parlor with big double doors. The doors had glass in them and we could see that there was a big Christmas tree and lots of presents underneath. The doors were closed and we were told in no uncertain terms that they would remain closed until grandma opened them on Christmas morning.

We went to bed, people sleeping all over the house and many children sleeping on the floor. I had trouble going to sleep because I was so excited about the presents we would open.

Finally, the night passed and it was Christmas morning. Grandma then went to the parlor doors and opened them and said we could go in.

We were standing around in a big circle that was several people deep. Grandpa was standing by the tree and would hand a gift to grandma. She would call out a name and that person would go get their gift and open it.

I really got excited as I saw the other children open their gift and would show us their little toy. There were yo-yo and balls. They were small but they made everyone happy.

Then, finally, my name was called. I went up and grandma handed me my present. It was not shaped like the other kids toys, it was flat. I was really puzzled and ripped open the paper. Inside was a----------handkerchief. A blue and white handkerchief.

I stood there looking at it and my face must have shown that I was not happy with my gift. My grandmother was watching and then asked me, "John, don't you like your gift"? I was young enough not to be subtle and I said NO.

Grandmother stopped handing out the gifts and began to talk. She said that she and grandpa did not have a lot of money and they had a very BIG family. So all year long she saved change and found a way to buy a gift for everyone in the family. 

She went on to say that she bought the gifts because she loved each and everyone of us. The gift was a way she could say I Love you. She wished she could buy bigger and better gifts but she did not have the money to do.

Grandma then asked me if I wanted to give the gift back. There were would be no trade in but if I did not like it I could give it back.

I had listened well to her talk and my reply was, "No, I will keep it, and Thanks".

Indeed I kept the blue and white handkerchief and still have it this many years later.

Now every Christmas I hear Grandma telling me why she gave me the gift and I am reminded to be thankful for every gift I am given.

Grandma's Gift--Is still giving.

I hope you all have a Joy filled and Thankful Christmas.

Comments (190)

Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi John...I love your post. It is the true essence of gift giving. You are so lucky to have something from your grandmother. I wish I did.


Dec 29, 2015 12:48 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Kate Elim, I am grateful to have something from my grandmother, the handkerchief is just a reminder of her love.

Thanks for your kind words.

Happy New Year

Dec 29, 2015 08:56 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

I just read your post on Fred Cope 's re-blog. Thank you for sharing it John Wiley 

Dec 29, 2015 11:44 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

What  a touching story!!  You learned a lesson that you treasure to this day.  Thanks for sharing it.

Dec 30, 2015 12:33 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Bob, I must thank Fred for the re-blog and I thank you for your comments.

Happy New Year.

Dec 30, 2015 12:47 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thank you Mary. My grandmother was a great life teacher.

Dec 30, 2015 12:48 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Very nice story.  It is not so much the gift as itis the spirit of giving that counts.

Dec 30, 2015 01:21 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Gary Waters, I totally agree, it is all about the spirit of giving.

Happy New Year.

Dec 30, 2015 01:42 AM
Kathleen Frawley
Keller Williams 916 730-4404 Elk Grove, Wilton, Folsom, Sacramento - Wilton, CA
South County Sacramento, 916 730 4404

Beautiful Beautiful story! You made my day.

Dec 30, 2015 03:21 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Kathleen Frawley, nothing makes my day better than making someones day.

Glad you liked the story.

Happy New Year

Dec 30, 2015 04:14 AM
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

John- the gift she gave you was way deeper than the handkerchief- she gave you love and taught you to see past the item in front of your eyes.  I wish  more people could have your experience!  Merry Christmas and I hope a prosperous New Year in 2016!

Dec 30, 2015 06:42 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Shanna Hall, thanks for commenting. Yes, we must look past the item to see what is coming from the heart.

Happy New Year

Dec 30, 2015 08:37 AM
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

What a wonderful story!  Thank you for sharing.  My parents didn't have a lot of money while I was growing up, but there were always a few small presents for my sister and I under the tree.  But to make them feel really special, my mother, who was very artistic, did the most imaginitive wrappings with hand painted decorations and pictures.  Some were so highly prized that she saved the wrappings in a suitcase to be used in future years.  Christmas giving was truly a labor of love and not an expression of how much money one spent.  Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2016!

Dec 30, 2015 08:47 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Marti Steele Kilby, thank you so much for sharing your story. If more people could experience the love of Christmas instead of the love of expensive gifts I think everyone would have better memories.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year

Dec 30, 2015 09:20 AM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

John-That really was a teachable moment. Thanks for sharing.

Jan 02, 2016 05:16 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Wayne Johnson, thanks for your comments. My grandmother was really good at taking advantage of teachable moments.

Happy New Year.

Jan 02, 2016 09:12 PM
Carol Lozito, P. A.
LoKation Real Estate - Pompano Beach, FL
Fla. Probate Realtor & Waterfront Home Specialist

Grandmothers were the greatest, weren't they?  I learned so much from mine. 

Jan 02, 2016 10:58 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Carol Lozito, I am grateful that many people have grandmothers that were the greatest. Glad you had a good one.


Jan 03, 2016 03:44 AM
Anita S. Zahn
Advantage Realty 863-840-1420 - Sebring, FL
Highlands County Real Estate Source! I work 4 U!

Love your post!  If you only knew then how special that blue and white hanky was.  What a wonderful memory you have that will never be forgotten.  I love storys like this!

Jan 04, 2016 08:35 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Anita, thanks for your kind comments. It is really amazing to me that at such a young age I could understand the meaning of the gift and keep it all these years.

I am now telling my grandchildren the story about their  great great grandmother and they enjoy it and want to see the hanky.


Jan 04, 2016 08:47 AM