Tuesday, December 7, 2004


This past weekend, we were in Eugene. Two weekends in a row surrounded by my family. I feel like I deserve a medal. Or a lobotomy.

The Christmas after my Dad passed away, I decided to try to put together a new holiday diversion…as much an effort to take our minds off missing him as anything else. I bought tickets for everyone to a holiday concert, and put together a pre-concert feast. The guests were charged with bringing an ornament for each other member of the family, for an ornament exchange. Wonder of wonders, the new tradition caught on. On Sunday, we had our sixth annual.

The sight of my sister’s dining room table awash with little wrapped packages gave me a little slap upside of the head with Christmas spirit. (My attitude so far this season has been decidedly Grinch-like…) As I down-loaded this picture, I tried to think…what was my favorite Christmas present I had ever received? You want to hear something really pitiful? I couldn’t think of one!

Not as pitiful as you might think, maybe. Since I was old enough to tuck the five-dollar bill my mother handed me safely into my pocket, and strike out on my own up and down the aisles of Woolworth’s, the greater thrill of the holidays for me has been the gifts I was giving, rather than what I was going to get. I always wanted my present to be the best that person received that year…or at least something they needed, loved, or would use. I took much more pleasure in watching people open the gifts tagged "To: XXXX, From: Lisa," than in tearing into my own booty under the tree.

Still, there must be a present I have received on one of the last forty-nine Christmases that brightened my life above all others. I just can’t think of it. Help me out, here. Maybe an example from somewhere out in journal-land will jog my memory. What was YOUR favorite Christmas present of all time?

P.S. I will post another song verse later in the week. Currently doing some research...


  1. I think this is a wonderful tradition you have started.  I'm sure everyone enjoys shopping for just the perfect ornament for everyone else.  THIS...is how it should be!

  2. Yes, I agree -- that's a wonderful tradition!

  3. The wrapped gifts look so spectacular.  I'm a horrible wrapper, I must admit.  Your ornament exchange sounds like fun.  Our bunko group does that in December and it's always so much fun.  I'm with you on preferring to watch others unwrap their gifts.  My favorite present of all time?  I think a ruby and diamond ring which I wear all the time.

  4. You expect people to say that giving is the best thing, don't you?  But it is.  I always put a lot of thought into the gifts I give and it gives me a huge thrill to watch the faces of those I love, unwrapping them.  

    Of course, the best Christmases were those of childhood because they were always filled with magic.  I think the gift I was most excited with when I received it, was one of those old fashioned tape recorders.  I'd spend hours pretending to be an actress speaking into the microphone with some long speech.  Sad!  :-)

  5. Oh I love to give gifts too!  Its more difficult when you get older and everyone has everything they need or want.  Children are hard to buy for too because I am too far removed.  Pee Wee Herman was it for me!  Squarepants Sponge Bob is too young.  

    Anyway, back in the old days they only time I received a gift or a toy was on Christmas or my birthday.  So, I remember a lot of the toys I received.  The best one was the Chatty Cathy.  Oh I was so proud of that doll!  

  6. My all time favorite present was when I was a mere teenager. I received my console stereo, which I still have and The Beatles White Album. I stayed up all night Christmas Eve listening to it!

  7. I think about the things I cherish and it's all things that were given to me but weren't necessarily gifts for a special occasion - my grandmother's china, my great-grandmother's locket, etc. Ha! I guess the best Christmas present is the last one, until the next one comes along. ;-) ---Robbie

  8. What a great idea for a Christmas tradition!  And don't ask me about my favorite Christmas present, especially after you wrote such eloquent words about the joy of giving. lol  I remember being very thrilled about receiving my first bicycle, and..   Oh, there was the year we received the swingset!  There was ribbon leading out to the back yard.  But somehow I don't imagine that's the sort of stuff you have in mind! ;-)