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How many times we've heard that old saying. Is it really true. I mean 'really'? When you've been dropping hints for the past three months you'd like to have a new BMW M4 for Christmas, only to wake up Christmas morning and find a Nissan Versa in the driveway with a big bow around it; is it really true?
You tell yourself, 'It's the thought that counts'. You won't tell him that, you'll tell him you love it. But you keep telling yourself, 'It's the thought that counts'.
I was quite the Dandy in my day. Popular, smooth talker and dancer, hobnobbed with some very influential and well-heeled people. Along the way, I received some rather impressive Christmas gifts.
A one of a kind designer suede jacket. A three-carat diamond tie tack and several pieces of gold jewelry to name a few. But you know what? Our values change as we grow older. Material things seem to hold less and less importance. I gave all my jewelry away, and I felt better after I did. Now, I see all that gold as trappings, the means of a way to stand out in the crowd and to impress. Today, I'm just me. I don't have a need to impress anyone. Just take me as I am.
The day after Christmas, I called my sister. We talked for quite a while. During the conversation, she mentioned the gifts she had received. As she was talking, something occurred to me. I said,' You know what? This is the first year in my life that I didn't receive a Christmas gift, not even one'.
She said, 'Well, I got you something. It's just a matter of getting it up there to you'. Soon, the present was couriered to me. Was I ever surprised when I looked into the gift bag.
The first thing I pulled out was a long oil lamp wick, wrapped around a frame of sorts. I thought to myself, 'I have been burning oil lamps recently, for the first time in many years. How did she know? I didn't tell her.
As I read the label on the package, I realized wicks were not inside. What was inside was a contraption to help one get their socks on more easily. She had seen me at her home, struggling to get a shoelace tied. It was quite difficult to reach my feet. She saw and she remembered. She thought of my needs. Indeed, it is the thought that counts.
As I dug deeper, I saw a sampler filled with summer sausage, hard Christmas candy and different flavors of jellies, preserves and my favorite, orange marmalade. She knows I have a weak spot for sweets. She was thinking of me for sure when she picked out this sampler. Yes, it's the thought that counts.
The bottom of the gift bag was lined with a layer of individual pies. Apple and lemon and blueberry and pecan. She knows I like fruit pies and thought I would like to have them. It is the thought that counts.
Wait a minute. What's this? I thought the bag was empty. Aha! A nice pair of gardening gloves. And with a rubberized coating, no less. Those thoughts that count really mounted up this Christmas!
As I looked at the pile of gifts before me, something happened, something not so commonplace these days. At age 74, a tear came to my eye.
The three carat diamond and the gold necklaces and bracelets never stirred up such emotion in me. The gifts before me now were not given to impress, rather, to share heartfelt warmth at this time of year. They, to me, were worth their weight in gold.
I wiped the little tear away and headed for the kitchen. Not only had the courier brought me a bag of gifts, she brought me food as well. I emptied the contents of the bowl into a pan and heated it. I sat at the table and thoroughly enjoyed the best chili I have ever tasted in my life.
Only later was I told the chili was made from venison. I had told my sister I didn't care for deer meat. But again, she was thinking of me when she sent that bowl of chili. She knew the chili was so good I had to like it. Guess she knows me pretty well. Something else she knows too; it truly is the thought that counts.
Thank you, Charlotte!
With 3 children, son-in-laws, several grandchildren and a hoard of steps there were too many family members to purchase a nice present for all. It came down to gift cards for everyone. We realized the presents the adults liked most were family pictures.
This year, my daughter's Christmas presents will be bought with a theme in mind. At a recent Heritage festival, she was introduced to the Colonial style of using a wringer washer.
Try giving food gifts for Christmas this year! There are so many things you can do. Our daughter and her new sister-in-law made homemade candy today to share. One year, I made Christmas trees out of bread dough. It's easy!
Don't think you can't give presents, most of us have enough to pass on to share in the spirit of the season. I was reminded of that when an old senior citizen buddy of ours gave us a "new" wood cutting board for our boat that had come out of some ship's teak woodwork.