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A Gift Can Linger in Your Heart Forever

As I read today’s Sunday paper, I stumbled upon an article about the family tradition of selecting the just right tree for the holidays.  It wasn’t the title that captured my attention (sorry Matt Vande Bunte), it was the absolutely priceless photo of a six year old girl peeking through a tree cut out at Bosch’s Nursery.   That bright smile belongs to Jillian, a first grader in our building.   And, it is Jillian’s smile that reminded me of my daughter at that same age and inspired this post.Jillian W.

During the next three weeks, the teachers at Georgetown will be devoting time to gift making for parents and loved ones.  In addition, the PTC will be sponsoring the Secret Santa Shop the week of December 7.  These important gift making and buying events are a simple but very special way for children to experience the joy of giving to  special people in their lives.

As I hung my most dear and invaluable ornaments this weekend, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with nostalgic feelings of the sincere and tender love when tree ornamentmy daughter and son watched me eagerly open their gifts.   I am so thankful that I saved each ornament (no matter how hurriedly it was made) and the roughly written letters to Santa.  Two letters to Santa are my favorites.  Kelsey, now 16 but then 5 wrote:

Dear Santa,  I love you so much.  I moved. Remember I live on Greenwood Street now.  Please do not come in our house. Leave the present in the garage.  I put the carrots for the reindeer in there.  Milk for you, too. And a cookie.  Just one.  Love, Kelsey

As a first grader, she wrote the following:

Dear Santa, I don’t think you are a robber any more.  I love you.  You can come in my house this year.  Keep the reindeer out.   I left you 2 cookies this year.   Remember I want pink rubber boots.       Love, Kelsey

This same year, my son carefully selected a $1.00 bobble head professor paper weight for his Daddy.   Keenan felt rich with the Secret Santa Shop money in his hands.  I remember him telling me that he might have to spend it on himself if he could not find anything for his Daddy!

Keenan’s Daddy still has the paperweight on his office desk.  Like the handmade ornaments, carefully decorated and the preciously sound spelled letters and cards, these gifts remind me of the simple, yet important lesson of life:  A gift from a child no matter how small can linger in the heart forever.

December can be a very busy and overwhelming time in our lives.  Take time to treasure the simple gifts from your child this holiday season and store these for invaluable memories later in your life.  Don’t miss the smile on your child’s face as you open that construction paper ornament or $2.00 blinking tie holder from the gift shop.  And, thank you, sweet Jillian, for inspiring this post!

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