As I continue my track down memory lane I have come to the realization that although I have had many, many great Christmas holidays, my all-time favorites are more from my adult life. Tonight I look back just a few years ago.
My siblings and myself usually tried to get together to find presents for my parents. We would spend time discussing what to get, can we find something for them together, how much do we spend, etc. This particular year my Dad was taking care of his Uncle's farm. My Mom had taken a picture of an old barn on the farm to which my Dad shared with many and cherished the picture. With my Mom's help us kids decided to have the picture blown up and framed.
Hey, hey you are probably asking what is sooo special about that? We decided to have the frame custom-made from a piece of wood from one of my Dad's barns. So I found someone to do some creative editing to the picture and they blew it up. Then one evening I drove up to my Dad's farm and tore a piece of wood off of his barn.
The funny part is it felt like I was on some top secret mission as 007. I had to call people to ensure that I would not be arrested for trespassing, find someway to get a 8 ft. long board in my car, and then try to discretely drive into the VERY small town without being noticed and drop off this 8ft board to they guy to make the frame that just happened to live next to my Grandma's house. Oh and did I mention that all this time I was also transporting a 4 year old and a 4 month old?
As this was going to be a great gift for my Dad I just kept thinking, "What about Mom?" I was stumped. Then my sister-in-law mentioned that awhile back my Mom had secretly told her that she had lost the mother's ring we had gotten her YEARS before for Mother's Day. She was upset and didn't want any of us to know. Boy was I glad my sister-in-law couldn't keep a secret!! So to the jewelry store I went and picked out another ring.
What was best about this was the fact that my Mom was getting a kick out of the mission we were going through to get my Dad's present completed. She knew all about it and also couldn't wait for him to see the finished product. The whole time I kept thinking, "Just you wait Mom, you won't believe your own eyes!"
That morning, as with every Christmas morning, it is tradition that my parents open their gifts first. My Dad was first and I think us kids had every camera and video camera going. My Dad being the very joking man was making jokes and laughing as he was opening the gift and then he ripped off the paper and turned it over. He was speechless. He just stood there and looked at the picture. Then preceeded to show it off like any child that just received a great gift would. My Mom just smiled and relished in the fact that she had a little something to do with it.
Then it was her turn. We gave her the box and she just looked at us and said she wondered what it was. She unwrapped the box and opened it. She was speechless. I said, "A little birdy told us you lost your other Mother's ring so we decided to have it replaced." She looked at my sister-in-law and lost it. She started tearing up, then I started tearing up.
I think I will always remember that Christmas. Yes we got my parents some great gifts but it was gifts that MEANT something to them. Those gifts were so much more than a shirt or perfume. They had meaning behind them. My Mom still wears her Mother's ring everyday and that picture is hanging in their dining room. I know it is cliche but giving is always better than receiving.