Happy Wednesday, everyone! It’s that time again . . . Time to shop for Christmas gifts! (At least it is if you start early like me.) Honestly, I'm a little anxious about gift-giving. I'm easily overwhelmed by options, and I'm scared of getting someone a gift they’ll never use. Today, I thought I’d explore my favorite gift-giving stories throughout the years. Maybe it will spark a gift idea. Or maybe it will help you recall a special Christmas memory of your own!
One of my favorite stories is about a gift my dad received as a kid. Santa got him a Popeye punching bag — which was the ultimate gift because Popeye was Dad’s favorite show. So Dad inflated the punching bag immediately. Then wound up for a punch. But when Dad's fist made contact, the bag touched the radiator (which was at the center of the room) and popped. Little Dad was obviously pretty distraught; the best toy he’d ever received almost immediately broke. The gift was also never replaced. I guess he told my mom this story once. She spent years looking for a Popeye punching bag, meandering through antique shops. When eBay came along, she finally found the exact one and gave it to my dad for Christmas. He was so touched. I was a teenager when I witnessed this moment.
The best gift I ever received was also in childhood. I’d seen a commercial on TV for a GirlTech Password Journal, and similar to my dad’s Popeye bag, it was a material object I felt represented who I was at the time. The toy was both a journal and a treasure box; it only opened with your voice and the password. I'd always loved the idea of secret places, and I had all these ideas I wanted to write down. I also had magical rocks, seashells, and trinkets that I felt needed a home. So on Christmas Eve, I tossed and turned in anticipation; I wasn't sure I'd get the journal. (It seemed as if my mom was trying to manage my expectations the week leading up to Christmas.) But sure enough, I got it. It wasn't from Santa, though. My dad was the one who gave it to me. And he’d actually gone out of his way to find it. Turns out that particular journal was impossible to find in the small city of Sudbury. He had to wade through a sea of people at the toy store while he was on a business trip in Calgary. It was the fact that he knew how important the journal was . . . the fact that he went on a mission to find it that meant the most to me.
So my feeling is that the best gifts are sentimental. The ones that say: I remember what you tell me and I treasure your stories.
What about you? What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Do you have any cherished Christmas stories? Let me know in the comments below!