Adriana's three rules for gift giving.

Adriana's three rules for gift giving.

I know there is preparation to do. This is the season of preparation.

The Christmas season, for those of us who celebrate it, is a beautiful time. 

And I am steeping myself in this. I am enjoying the moments. I love this month. The sparkle, the lights, the sentiment, the love. It makes me gush a bit.

The ideas for gifts that pop into my head are quickly jotted down to consider. It is a time to show people you are thinking of them. A time to give. And the giving can be as simple as a few cookies. It just says I am thinking of you. If the cookies are like the homemade orange shortbread with ginger icing that Harry the printer sent in for us this week, well all the better. Wait just a sec, I am going to go get one to munch on while I eat this, whoops, I mean while write this.

It is a time of year when we do our best. We bring out the best ingredients, we spruce up the house (literally). I just bought a tree from Frank Elliot who has been selling trees on the corner of Church Street for 30 years. I usually pick one out on my walks and cut it on the side of the road, but this year I could not find one. When I got back to the studio there was a text from my friend Blair, asking if I wanted a tree. He knew I had been looking and was willing to cut me one. I said I had just bought one. I wanted my friend's tree but I could not disappoint the tree sellers. The whole family and their dog was there today selling trees. As much as I would have liked to have a tree from my friend, buying one from the Elliot family was also lovely.

Over the years I have noticed the idea of Christmas gifts has faltered a little. Everyone says "Don't buy me anything." We forget that the gift is often for the giver. I don't know about you but I am really curious to see if my sister likes the writer I chose for her this Christmas. I love picking out that perfect something for someone. I like that it shows I know them. That I care for them, maybe even that I was listening. I like that they know I remember them.

And I have lots of people to remember because all year people are good to me. You can be good to them at anytime but December is a special time.

Sometimes gift giving is about receiving. I know that my friend is waiting for his Phatire Lahum, a Lebanese treat I make him at Christmas. I also know that my great nephews will be excited and have a lot of fun playing with the perfect gift I got them from our local hardware store. I would have loved it when I was five. 

Gifts are a love language for some people and it is important to let them express themselves. I love choosing gifts for people. The other day I was shopping at 30 Church, my son's women's clothing store across the street and Adriana who works there told me her personal gift giving rules.

Here they are:

1. She looks for something meaningful that only that person would want or understand.

2. If she does not find that, she looks for something pretty or beautiful because beautiful is always important.

3. If she cannot find either of the first two, she goes for something useful because that's always good.

I loved her story. She is a young woman and I could see that she takes her gift giving seriously, that for her it was a love language too. 

Once I gave a friend a gift right before Christmas on a rainy dark night in my car as I was dropping her off. She opened it and it made her sob. I knew then that it was the perfect gift. I looked at her and knew that I would never be able to get another gift for her that was that perfect. She knew it too. Through all the snorting and the wiping of tears she was moved and happy, but me, I was even happier to have given it to her.

In our house we always talk about the shiver. When my son was three his Auntie Val bought him a tiny red toy tractor with a wagon that held a cow and a sheep. When he opened it his whole little body shook with a shiver. I will always remember that shiver. Val and I always joke as to whether a gift will ever get a shiver like that again. 

As we get older it can be easy for us to forget the magic of Christmas. We can let December slide by as if it was just another month. But it isn't. It's December. Lights are burning brightly. We are thinking of others. We see the possibility in ourselves to be more giving and that enriches us deeply

Thank you for letting me share this with you. You reading these letters is your gift to me. Thank you for reading, Deanne


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  • Deanne Fitzpatrick
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