Christmas was her holiday.
She reveled in the true spirit of giving. She did not give to receive. She gave because she truly loved searching for the perfect color, the perfect texture, the perfect shape, the things that would make our eyes sparkle. Not once did I ever hear her complain about the commercial rush of the holidays. She weaved around the chaos and stayed grounded in love and generosity.
Some years she would arrive heavy suitcases in tow, treasures for all tucked inside along with the ribbons and extra tape. Then she would spend hours hiding in the guest bedroom, folding and wrapping and stacking and sorting. She was our Santa.
Other times, the packages would preempt her arrival. Or we would go to her. When we all made the trek to her, those were the ones I remember most. This new geography that she made her home was the backdrop of every perfect Christmas card. Towering evergreens, snow on the ground, regal homes tucked in hillsides and Norman Rockwell villages.
There were no idyllic nights singing Christmas carols or baking cookies. She didn’t try to set up the perfect holiday for us. She provided the warmth, the peace, the love and the laughter. If there was drama…and there usually was…she listened and encouraged us to talk it through. Always the peacemaker and the caregiver.
So when I wonder how to make this holiday special for my own children, I learn from her. Offer some love wrapped in pretty paper, carve a wide path in the snow, light the way with laughter and help when the walk becomes slippery.
Warmth, love, laughter and light to you and yours.