I had the good fortune to grow up in a 2 income home. Every year my Mom would start saying around the holiday season money is tight, and don’t expect much.
We had a silver artificial tree in the Living room with a colored light on a wheel making the tree constantly change colors. In the basement recreation room we had a live tree.
Mom would always place the need gifts under the tree in the Living room, and the wish gifts would be found under the tree in the Basement.
One Christmas season there was a period of time where both my parents were experiencing temporary unemployment simultaneously for about at least 6 months prior. This time when she started her annual broke spill I really believed her. She drove the broke theme home so strong, I really was not expecting a gift.
Christmas morning came. My Mom had to wake me to go to the Living room. Under the tree I found underwear and socks, and I was thoroughly appreciative. I headed back to my bedroom to finish my sleep. My Mom came back to wake me again to remind me I had forgotten we had a second Christmas tree.
To my amazement I had a how she knew moment? Under the basement tree was every toy I wished for in 1972. That Christmas I learned I had the capacity of making whatever sacrifices my Parents needed from me, because I understood the meanings of blessed, and gratefulness.
1973 rolled in with my Parents hosting their annual grand New Year’s Eve party, new employment, and the purchase of a brand new Buick. I learned like the seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, life brings seasons of abundances, and seasons of pruning.
In my early Adult years I reminded my Mom about what I learned in those two years. I remarked how proud I was of parents who managed to build a home from scratch in the suburbs to create a better life for their children, pay for it, and even in the lean seasons never missed a mortgage payment. They got two children all the way through College, and created a little scholarship fund for their grandchildren.
My Parents are now in their mid-70s and mid- 80s, and look forward to a grand Christmas Eve celebration I plan for them annually. I post the photos on my Facebook page.
Now we’ve cross over into the New Year, I use the first two weeks of the year to take a moment to reflect on the successes of the previous year.
I wish you more joy in the New Year than you could ever ask for or even imagine having in your daily life. My Respected Colleague below shares a true meaning of Christmas he learned, causing me to really think about the best Christmas of my youth. You’ll enjoy his story….
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.
Your Real Estate Agent For Lee County, Florida