I received a lot of gifts this year. Some were large; some were small; and many were handmade…my favorite. Several were edible, a few were antiques, a couple were vintage, and still one or two had the tags and receipts in case I would ever want to return them. I think not!
But the gifts that brought me the most joy were not the ones I received, but those I gave. I have friends around the world and many of them started this gift exchange because all of us LOVE getting mail. I don’t care what it is, my heart leaps at the sight of handwriting on an envelope, or better still a small package. These across-the-pond gifts are usually tiny things that can slip into an envelope – like an ATC or a book mark, or a simple watercolor made special. But this year I made the discovery that because I am a member of Amazon here in the U.S., I am also a member of Amazon.co.uk. That solved a dilemma for me because I have surrogate grandchildren and they want toys. Toys are big, and usually the shipping was more than the cost of the toy. So I am very on board with this Internet commerce – especially when it saves me those whopping postal fees.
But this morning, and it’s around 4 a.m. on the day after Christmas, I woke up already missing the gifting aspect of this holiday. I feel like I should be in the kitchen stamping out cookies or cutting up fudge. I want to make more banana breads and blueberry muffins. I want to leave Secret Santa cards in unusual places and not sign my gifts so that the recipient feels EVERYONE loves them – not just one person. This is my bliss: baking and making and tying a ribbon around it.
It is the pagan in me that loves gift giving and I wish everyone would feel the same. Why not a Fourth of July Tree, or a Memorial Day cookie exchange? Why should we relegate gift giving to just this time of year? I have a friend who lives in the woods and can’t help herself. Every time I see her, she gives me a gift. So now every time we get together, I give her one as well. I enjoy this aspect of our time together as much as the eating, antiquing, and talking.
We both learned long ago that good fences make good neighbors, but good cookies make great friends. Try showing up at your neighbor’s door in February with a gift for no reason, and see how the day pans out. Better still, just drop the gift off anonymously. I promise you … you’ll make someone very happy, including yourself.