This Christmas I received many gifts that made my Grinch-sized heart grow. There are a few in particular that stand out. None of them are extravagant. None of them are expensive. They are simple and lovely. And I am blessed to have people in my life who gave me such wonderful gifts.
1. A friend made me a beautiful dragonfly necklace. She used understated earth tones and I appreciate the fact that she took time out of her impossibly busy schedule to create something she knew I’d love. I gave her a book. I bought it online. I am lame.
2. Our school has a Christmas Boutique where kids can shop for gifts for their families. One little girl, a blond fairy of a girl, kept shooing me away while she shopped because she had something in her basket I couldn’t see. The next day she slipped a small box under our classroom tree. I unwrapped the box and inside sat this precious dragonfly brooch.
“How did you know dragonflies are my favorite?” I asked her.
“You told me once a long time ago, when I was little, and I remembered.” She smiled proudly, showing off the window where her front teeth used to be.
I wore the brooch all day and thought of the precious girl, who at the age of six is still little, but already has a big heart.
3. This giant Hershey’s kiss was from another of my little ones. He’s an affectionate boy and we’ve had some conversations about how we hug, but don’t kiss each other at school. He gave me a basket of pansies and then handed me a wrapped box. When I opened it, he said “This kind of kiss is allowed at school, right?” The class erupted into peels of laughter and the clever little guy grinned from ear to ear.
4. I received this angel ornament from another student. The ornament is sweet and when I hang it on the tree each year, I will remember how tightly the little boy hugged me after I opened it. He also gave me dish of Hershey’s kisses and repeated the line from the kid who gave me the giant chocolate kiss. In first grade if a joke is funny the first time, it’s absolutely hilarious the second time around.
5. I have a friend who used to race bicycles and he always gives me awesome cycling stuff. This year he gave me a gift card to RoadID.com. My emergency shoe tag was wearing out and so I bought a shiny new one along with a wicking hat for spin class. There are two great things about this present. First, if something dastardly goes down on my bike, my shoe tag can help emergency workers figure out who I am very quickly. Secondly, and much less morbidly, RoadID gives a percentage of each sale to one of nine charities, so upon check out you can choose which charity receives some cash. Naturally, I chose LiveStrong.
6. My grandmother used to wear White Diamonds lotion. When she passed away earlier this year, I wore one of her sweaters just to have her scent on my skin. My aunt wrapped up a tube of White Diamonds for me this year and when I unwrapped it and unscrewed the lid, I was immediately filled with the scent of my grandmother, the scent of all the joyous memories we had together.
7. Okay, when I said none of the gifts I received this year were expensive or extravagant, I apparently had a brain hemorrhage and forgot about the gift Terry gave me. My hubby gave me a housekeeper for a year. Let that sink in for a minute. He gave me an Alice. Revel with me for a moment here: an entire year of no vacuuming, no dusting, no mopping. Ladies, I understand that you’re probably swooning. Put your head between your knees for a sec and breathe. Yes, he is that good. No, he doesn’t have a brother.
I hope your Christmas was full of lovely gifts and joyous memories. And even if your heart was already the right size, I hope this Christmas season made it swell at least three sizes bigger.