Nora wrote this post about favorite gifts you have given or received. I loved the idea and I have been dredging up the ghosts of Christmas past to come up with my favorites...
1. Last Christmas my mom put a black shawl on her Christmas list. Just one to throw over her shoulders in her cold church on Sunday mornings. She was never so surprised at a gift than when she unwrapped one that I knit for her.
She never expected me to actually knit one. She taught me to knit several years ago and it didn't really "take" until the last couple of years. She cried when she opened it. Always the sign of perfectly received present.
2. My grandmother needlepointed stockings for everyone in the family one year. The amazing thing was the personal attention to details she put in each one. My mom's had a piano, a baton, yarns for needlepointing. The main focale point was two blond children (my brother and I) decorating a christmas tree.
3. The year my father bought me a stack of books and cd's. It was the first and only year he bought my Christmas presents himself. My mother and my stepmother had always done it for him. It was the year after he and my stepmom divorced and the year before he died. The first and last Christmas gift my father ever chose for me himself. And he obviously thought about it and picked things he knew I would like.
4. My mom and I are making dumpling bags for all my neices this year. I don't know yet how they are going to like them, but the experience of knitting them with my mom has been priceless.
5. The first Christmas I spent with my in-laws I was 27 and Paddy-O and I were still only dating, but serious. His parents came to my mom's house for the holiday. I spent a lot of time and effort choosing things that are particularly North Carolinian for his parents. Hand-crafted bees wax candles from Old Salem, a book on golfing in NC, a dried flower garland to hang over a doorway (still in my mil's den), baked moravian cookies. I put so many hopes and dreams into the gifts - that they would find my home-state lovely and welcoming. That they would be glad to visit again. That they would love me and want me to be a part of their family.
How about you? What are your favorite gifts?