At this time of the year, our thoughts often turn to gifts for Christmas. While I would be the last to think that the gifts in themselves are important, it still is an opportunity to pass on some meaningful thoughts and to give some tangible memories. In my mind, getting the biggest , newest fad for a gift for someone is a slight insult – it implies that the recipient is so shallow that this will improve her holiday. This is the reason I try to find an appealing baby picture and have it enlarged and perhaps express my memories of that time. This does not always work as my idea of a “cute” picture is not always the same as the sophisticated now grown-up “baby” !
The family circle needs to have a sense of history and it starts with themselves and goes backward to their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents and other meaningful people in their lives. I, myself never knew my grandparents and I was an adult before I ever saw pictures of any of them. But there were some memories expressed by my parents and I found this to be fascinating .
I do not mean it has to be a direct family relation – it could easily come from a neighbor or someone who knew some of the history in your family. We just need that grounding for stability. I remember an elderly woman , who knew our family and when she told me how happy my parents were when we children were born I was so grateful to her. She said no-one had expected this older couple to have a family and that the whole community rejoiced . ( I have often felt that I should have tried harder to do something to warrant their happiness!)
In any case, I give out family histories, babyhood toys, and copy our family tree to include with the little token gifts I give at Christmas. Love should be in our hearts and homes always.