The Gifts We Remember

The last few weeks I’ve been working on a project that had me considering the “how to’s” of gift giving. I researched articles on saving money, shopping with a plan, giving with style, and many other useful tips. (Yes, I will share these as Christmas draws closer!) This material gave me great practical ideas, but the light was missing. When I paused to reflect on the gifts I most remembered, two from my childhood immediately came to mind: a kitchen set and a tangelo.

My sister made the kitchen set. It was constructed with cardboard boxes, but this was no crude mock-up. She created a two-tiered spice rack with hand-lettered “bottles” made from decorated paper towel tubes. The refrigerator was a pristine white and had a working door. Inside were empty food boxes carefully glued together to look right-off-the-grocery-aisle fresh. I also had eggs – Legg’s eggs, the kind that came with pantyhose in them.  Mine contained hand sewn fabric eggs that appeared to be fried.

The tangelo was from my brother. He came home one afternoon and called me into the kitchen. He smiled as he pulled the fruit out of the brown paper bag. I thought it was an orange, but he told me it was something new, a fruit we had never seen before. He explained that a tangelo was a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, and he had bought one just for me.

Why are these gifts so memorable? I felt the love behind them.

When I was starting elementary school, my sister and brother were in their upper years of high school. They had very little in common with their baby sister, but these gifts showed me they cared.  My sister knew I liked to play make-believe, so she used her talents to give me wonderful props. My brother was a guy who divided his hours between school, work, and car repairs, but he took the time to share something he thought I might enjoy. Their gifts showed they knew and thought of me. What more could a little girl want?

Simplicity Tip of the Day: The gifts we remember aren’t about money or glitz; they’re about the love we feel behind the present. When contemplating a gift, consider what you know about that person and how you can best show love to him or her.

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