Friday, December 9, 2011

Wrapping Things Up

Like Scrooge, I have reservations about Christmas. It sometimes seems a pointless frenzy of buying, wrapping, mailing, decorating, and cooking.

I do it, but there are days I wonder why.

Yesterday I started to wrap the present I found for my six-year-old grand niece. The face of the cloth doll looks a little like Iris’s face and I could not help but smile.

The doll and I held each other’s eyes for a while and I got it.

All the mess of wrapping paper, tape and ribbon that I was struggling with had a purpose. The package for my brother contained something to evoke an important memory. The packages for my sons in Chicago were mostly intended to help keep them warm. The package for my older niece holds things to acknowledge her as a nascent woman.The gifts for my nephew and his wife are mostly just beautiful and fun. Etc.

All of these things are concrete expressions of the love I feel for their recipients. As wonderful as good conversations and hugs might be, it is important to occasionally present some symbol of that love -- something people can wear or carry around or put on a shelf or wall. When they see it or feel it they can remember, “This was from Mim. She loves me.”

Every card, every present (or almost every card and present) reinforces the connections that hold us together.

So, like Scrooge at the end of The Christmas Carol, I come to celebrate Christmas in my heart. And like Tiny Tim, say “God Bless Us, Every One.”

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