Friday, December 14, 2012

A Holiday Gift

HAPPY HOLIDAYS


As we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holidays, it is easy to forget what the season is all about.

After my husband and I moved to Texas from Michigan, we rarely made it back to our home state for holidays, and my mother always sent handmade gifts for Christmas. The necessity of counting pennies has ruled her entire life, and we became accustomed to not expecting gifts of any great monetary value. Even so, the arrival of her annual box always sparked an eagerness in me that I never fully understood. The gifts were either hand made or just a small trinket, and sometimes there were even gifts for ‘we-don’t-know-who’.  There were also times we didn’t even know what the gift was or what it was for; usually something she knitted or crocheted that could be a small afghan or a large lap blanket.

When the kids were young, they never understood my excitement over mother’s box, either, but I couldn’t fault them for that. It's easy for a simple gift to be diminished when stacked up next to one larger and more expensive, and like the kids, I often saw my mother's efforts as a mere gesture.
But the year that necessity forced me to make gifts, was the year that I finally understood what a gift really is, whether handmade or purchased.

A gift is not just a thing. It's a connection between the person giving and the person receiving that says something special about the relationship between the two. And a gift should never be rushed. The longer you think about it, plan it, and work on it, the stronger the connection.

That's the special, intangible ingredient my mother wrapped up and sent to us for all those years.


So that is the intangible ingredient I wrapped up in this short story that is my gift to you this Christmas. It was written a number of years ago with a dear friend, and every year since when I read it again at Christmas, I can't help but think of the magic of this season.


The story will be free through December 17th, so you can get a copy for KINDLE or read it on my WEBSITE     ENJOY!

7 comments:

D.G. Hudson said...

Handmade gifts show that person cared enough to spend time making something. A lot more effort than shopping in a store.

I've always cherished the handmade gifts. They're made with heart in them. That may be because I sometimes make handmade gifts, but only for the special people.

Thanks for sharing Maryann.

Shirl said...

When our son was just a boy, he would make us handmade presents for Christmas. Those were always the best.

Shirl Henke

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Well put, Maryann--it's the connection we have with the giver and the feelings between us. Love your post...and thanks for sharing your short story.

Maryann Miller said...

I think we all cherish the handmade gifts. I have some from when my children were young that I will never throw away. They laugh when they come to visit and see ornaments on the tree that they made in kindergarten. (smile)

Thanks, D.G., Shirl, and Elizabeth for stopping by.

Jana Richards said...

I very much enjoyed "The Last Dollar". Lovely story.

Have a wonderful Christmas

Jana

Elle Carter Neal said...

Oh lovely, Maryann. I do enjoy your stories.

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks so much Jana and Elle, and I really appreciate the review you did on Amazon, Elle. That means so much to me.