Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas gifts are not always the same

I find it odd that people give chocolates as Christmas gifts. And I hate receiving flowers as Christmas gifts. A pot plant, yes; cut flowers, no. But over the years I have received some gifts I really liked.

I saw this mini poster and appreciate what it is trying to say. My feelings are a bit different.

As a child living at home we celebrated Christmas with toys, books, and a few other things. We did not have money to waste and everything had to have a purpose. We lived a plain lifestyle, but a loving one.

My mother always gave us bought knickers as a gift. For her these were a complete luxury. And they were the same for us for a long time. Mum made our underwear herself. They were usually cotton and huge and unpleasant to wear. Elastic was replaced and stitching was mended. I remember my first bought petticoat. Oh, how I loved bought undies.

I remember getting a shirt, a bought shirt. It was brightly coloured but too big to wear at the time. It was carefully hung in the wardrobe and I would often look at it and think about when the opportunity might come along so I could wear it. I did wear it once and eventually it disappeared, probably donated to the mission. But that was such a wonderful gift. It held a secret dream. Would I like clothes for Christmas? Maybe. My daughter gave me a lovely dress once and I still wear it occasionally. Some clothes are luxurious gifts.

Story books were luxuries too, so to get a new book for Christmas was wonderful. As we grew older it was important to treat the book carefully so it could be reused as a birthday present for someone else during the year. Some books were kept. I have about ten of them and the memories are worth the extra effort. Did I ever get a dictionary? Not for Christmas. My school friends had small dictionaries that sat on the desk at school, a status symbol. Mine was different and was hidden on the shelf underneath. Now in my home I have a whole shelf of dictionaries. Dictionaries of proverbs, superstitions, quotes, stitches, rocks, and so forth. For me a dictionary would be a wonderful gift, but it would need to be quite an unusual one as I have so many already.

Do I want an ipad, smartphone, new handbag, bikini, beach towel, movie tickets, face cream or more spices? Not the bikini please. No games or puzzles; I have enough. I have everything I need these days. What? Fabrics, DVDs, nonfiction books, a cake tin. Give me a dream, a luxury.

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