From The Storyteller
Hello All: Christmas gifts come in all different shapes and sizes and this one many years ago is one I enjoy sharing. Doug
“That was one of our best Christmases ever”, me to Elaine over coffee as we recalled one of our Christmas stories. It was almost 40 years ago, and Elaine and I had roughly six months practice at being a blended family. Our income stream had dwindled to basic needs of food, shelter and transportation only, and Christmas was literally two days away. Financially a tree and gifts were not within reach, so we decorated with popcorn strings and hand-colored ornaments out of paper.
Which brings me to how we solved the question of gifts. It was agreed that each of us would write down on a piece of paper the gifts we were going to give each other – in the coming year. The gift slips would be placed in separate envelopes, with the name of the person who would get the gift on the front. On Christmas morning we would exchange the envelopes.
No Christmas financial miracle occurred, and when Christmas morning arrived a suggestion about gift exchange sounded like fun, so it was agreed. We would play Trivial Pursuit, and when we got an answer right, we would get to open one of our gift envelopes. It was a blast! We laughed, whooped, told jokes, drank hot chocolate, ate popcorn strings, sang along to the radio Christmas songs, and opened our envelopes one at a time.
That morning the spirit of Christmas was not found in stuff, but in people. While I don’t remember many of the “things” promised that year, I do recall Lorrie’s gift to Elaine - a free night of babysitting. I’m sure it was used; I just don’t remember when.
Which brings me to why, even after our finances improved, envelopes and Trivial Pursuit were for years a part of our Christmas mornings.
Moral: Love is remembered when "stuff" is forgotten"