Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Lesson From an Avalanche

Is it just me...?  Or are mailboxes spewing out more mail-order catalogs than ever before?  It's like an avalanche!

The seduction begins...glossy ads for perfume advertisements, controversy over Black Friday starting on Thanksgiving Thursday for some stores...the ringing Christmas Hershey kisses are back on tv!

And to stop this insanity?

The avalance caused me to stop and think about gifts I had been given in the past, what had been meaningful, and what had seemed forgotten...

My mother faithfully gave me gifts at it much thought.  And yet every year in the decade before she was stolen away by Alzheimer's...I told her what I wanted...something I'd be disappointed if I did not receive one.

Every Christmas there would be a pair of hand embroidered pillowcases that she had done.  The time and effort she had put into these, plus knowing that the work was done by her own hands...hands that someday would no longer be able to do so...made them priceless.

She would ask me..."So, what do you want this year?" and my answer was always "a pair of embroidered pillowcases."  She would laugh (deflecting the compliment) and say, "oh that's nothing."

But it was everything...and I have them and lay my head on them, holding her close as I sleep.

Maybe the best way to stop the Christmas insanity is not to give what we're seduced by multimedia to believe will fulfill our loved ones' every desire...

but instead, give gifts that will have enduring those cherished pillowcases.


  1. That's the Christmas spirit! I lost the handmade wedding gifts I treasured. My grandmother learned to make tatting when she was about six years old. She tatted almost daily until she lost her eyesight to macular degeneration. She made me a doily for a wedding gift, and she gave me some other pieces along. She even tatted a lace edge for a table cloth. Thank goodness the table cloth has survived, so I have that piece of her handiwork.

    I told my family that the Christmas season cannot begin in our house until Santa comes down the street at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. No earlier. And truly, for me, the Christmas season does not begin until the first Sunday in Advent.

    Thank you for a beautiful post!

  2. So agree with you Denise Christmas is well under way here we don't have Thanksgiving like you do . Every year it gets worse mass commercialism I remember when I was little we got a stocking with nuts and fruit in it with may be some chocolate coins and I always got a book, and that was it . When I see what children get today I worry where will it stop ? Your Mother's embroidery is wonderful something beautiful to keep......have a good week...

  3. We can get the "stuff" any time, it is that most valuable family time that is the greatest gift to me. To have everyone under the same roof just for a little while is priceless.


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