What gifts do you remember?
I remember my first journal. My parents gave it to me when I was in about fifth grade. I was confused at first and said, “Uh, there’s no writing in this book.” They explained that I could write what I wanted in it. Stories, poems, thoughts, anything. I have journaled nearly every single day since that Christmas morning. It changed my life in that it gave me an outlet for my thoughts. But it solidified me because I knew that my parents totally understood their little girl. She was a writer. They got me.
I remember a pen. My friend got me a pen. It’s one of those cheesy ones that don’t write very well from a gift store. The kind that are in boxes and have all the names engraved on them for people who have no idea what to get someone. This one that my friend gave me says, “They didn’t have your name.” I laughed until I cried. They never have had my name, Andra. It’s never been on anything except what my mom sewed on to my pillows and clothes. That’s a little lonely, but it’s special, and I like that. And that little pen took all of that, all the years of spelling it out for people, all the times I answered to some corrupted version of my name, and grinned. My friend gave me a big joke for Christmas.
My four year old daughter gave me a hacked up picture from a coloring book. Actually, it’s still under the tree but I helped her tape it up so I happen to know what it is. And with the picture is a quote of something she said. That part isn’t wrapped under the tree but I wrote it down. “I’ve got these scissors so if I have a coloring problem, I can cut the coloring problem out of the book.”
I know you don’t really care what I got, so I’ll stop there. The best gifts weren’t the expensive ones. That could be my point, but I’m actually more wondering if I put enough thought into the gifts I give. Do I observe and love enough to change a life, open a world, make a laugh, fix a hurt, make love swell, and create a precious memory with my giving?