Ponder this:

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, my friends

We have underdone ourselves this year. 
In previous years we have foregone the tree, but I would get out a fabric snowman for the coffee table and put a big wreath on the six-foot-square upstairs window.  This year the decor looks the same as it did in August except that the screenporch plants are inside.

Husband and I haven't given each other Christmas gifts in years. We need and want nothing more of robes, jewelry, books...  We have no children, no grandchildren, so the only gifts I bought and wrapped this year were for a couple of friends and for my coworkers. For one coworker, who recently won an award for her original gingerbread man needlework design, a gold-sparkly gingerbread man tree ornament.

For Afternoon Boss, who among many other talents is an artist, a calligraphy pen set.

Last fall, Morning Boss asked me what to do with the sage she had grown, and I found, while browsing on eBay, a book about growing, harvesting and cooking with herbs.  Aha!  With perfect timing, it arrived in the mail on the 23rd.

It was with pleasure and a tickle of excitement that I wrapped these little gifts for delivery yesterday morning, the Christmas Eve half-day of work.

Of the three only Afternoon Boss and I opened our gifts together.  He loved his gift and will use it in his art.
Needlework Woman, who loves Christmas, and who will begin tomorrow counting down the days to next Christmas, happily accepted her little package and she and I and Afternoon Boss went off to Morning Boss's desk. As we approached I sang, "We three kings or Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar..." and we each placed our gifts on her desk blotter.

Morning Boss looked at me unsmiling. "I didn't get you anything."  
"I don't care. It doesn't matter."
"You said you didn't want to exchange this year!" 
I had said that, because I didn't want to obsess, as I knew I would, if I had had to choose a gift for her exacting self.  And I didn't want to add to her stress by adding "gift for June" to her list of Things I Must Do. I think I'm enough of a chore for her every day.  I hope that when she unwraps the book, she will see how minor a gift it is and will let the competition guilt drop away.

I didn't go looking for those gifts. If I had, I would not have had the pleasure of chancing upon them.  

Today our usual holiday gang will gather for Christmas dinner. R and E, who originally planned to spend the day with R's family, changed their minds and will be here, and BonBon baked and will bring a pie, since she doesn't like our traditional household Christmas dessert of crème brulée.  

Our group will be happy to be together today. If gifts are exchanged they will be small things. Our gift to each other will be our good fellowship.  It is said that friends are the family you choose. But you don't go looking for them, sweating, madly scouting through the hordes of humanity for them. 
You happen upon them...
...like The Perfect Gift.


Joe Todd said...

Merry Christmas June. Looks like we are both up early this morning

June said...

Hey, Joe! I'm about to wander back to sleep for a couple more hours. A lovely Christmas gift to myself: Back To Sleep. :-)

Wanda..... said...

Merry Christmas June!

threecollie said...

Merry Christmas!

Recycled Cottage & Garden said...

Sounds perfect to me, we don't do massive gifting either. I knitted my Dad a hat and my Mom coasters, that was it.

Lord Wellbourne said...

Beautiful post, June. I hope you and your dear Husband have a wonderful day basking in the glow of uncomplicated friendship!!

Autumn Mist said...

I agree with you on the gift front. It is getting out of hand here. We have grandchildren who we 'must' buy for. I saw a castle for 75 pounds. That is a ridiculous amount of money. I think it should go back to being just a token gift. My sister gives me her homemade chutney, and I love it. If someone bought me a jar of olives or a nice smelling soap I'd be quite happy. I don't see why it has to be an ipod or laptop. One man made his sister a cake. He is 84. It meant more to her than any gift he could buy. I hope you've had a wonderful day.

Carolynn Anctil said...

I love the last line of your post, the best. I feel I've done exactly that & count you among those whom I'm honoured to call Friend.

Today is my first day off work for the holidays and, with no blood relatives in the vicinity, I've invited a few friends over for an informal Open House on the 27th. I'm looking forward to have my 'family' here then. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying some quiet time with my furballs, a beverage, and a chick flick or two.

Merry Christmas!

Barb said...

Hi June, I love your first line! I actually read your post on my phone at 6 AM, sitting in front of my son's house in the car, waiting for them to realize we had arrived. (We had strict orders from the Grandchildren to be there "early" - they must wait at the top of the stairs until we arrive.) Hope your day was happy and restful.