#1 Prompt: Love: Who do you love + why do you love them? What does it feel like to be around these people?
#2 Prompt: The reason for the season - What's the most memorable gift you've ever received?
#1 -- The person I most love is my husband Tony, who has always on Christmas Day given me either a beautifully sentimental card or written me a letter. He opted for the latter this year and although I love the cards, the letters are the most special, and yes, they get kept.
In it, he writes of the Christmases we've spent together (this is the 15th), how he feels about that and about me and about the myriad of things that I do to make the day special for us, and, well -- a lot of wonderfully loving language that you don't need to hear because it's meant just for me.
How could I not love that? But I knew I loved him and that we were right together almost from the very first day I met him. Every day, every hug, every kiss reaffirms that for me, over and over. And my gratitude for him simply overflows my heart. After all these years, I love his touch, I love it when I see him coming towards me in a group, I love watching his face when he doesn't know I'm watching him. He is my rock, my calm center, my home, no matter where I am. How lucky I am to have this. How lucky we are to have found each other.
There are others whom I love dearly -- brother, sister-in-law, daughters, friends -- but I think the ability to love comes from first being shown great love: the more love you receive, the more you have to give to others. When your own well runs dry, it's hard to find a drop for others. I am grateful to those who love me so well, and I hope you receive back from me that gift.
#2 -- There have been some wonderful gifts in my past, and a few maybe not so much (think Crock Pot...from my husband ... ex)
The one that I best remember is a personal life album (scrapbook) and family history made by my mother and father in 1997, I think, or maybe 1996. She had been so painfully sick with osteoporosis and heart issues that year that their traveling days had to stop, and she had quite a lot of time at home. She had gone through decades of newspaper clippings, photographs, school records, and the other keepsake papers, written a family tree geneology for each side of our family. She'd made a collage of pictures for the cover -- and this was not only for me, but she also put ones together for my brother and for my daughter, so each was different, with a few of the same elements.
They began with old pictures of each family -- our grandparents and great-grandparents, along with their names and a brief history. Where there were appropriate photos of us interacting with them, they were included -- like the four generation one of me, my father, my grandmother and my great-grandmother, taken when I was maybe 2 or 3. She'd chosen photos of me at all the stages (to that point) of my life: child, teen, college student, young married woman, young mother, middle-aged working mom, etc., and of the people who have been so important in my life, along with other little news clips or keepsakes from her treasure box (her wedding hankie, for instance, was in my daughter's album).
It was a beautiful gift and we all three looked at them all day, sharing memories, sharing some of the different elements of each book, telling stories, and listening to my mother and dad tell theirs. I have custody of the albums from which the life album photos were chosen, but none is more precious to me than the one she spent that year putting together for me.
What they cost was time, her time and my dad's, because he was there helping her choose photos, pasting them in, remembering stories along with her. That gift of time and memory is still the best one I've ever received.
How blessed I am!