The Best Christmas Presents Ever

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's true, it is the thought that counts when giving/receiving a gift. The most memorable Christmas presents I have received and may ever receive were from my dad and Aunt Anita. In 2003 my Grandmother, Anne, passed away. She loved to cook, as do I. Over the years she, as any great chef does, accumulated many recipes and created some of her own. Opening her recipe box you would find many of her handwritten favorites, rummy scores from games she and Papaw would play religiously, and postcards from their grandchildren. I suppose this little box was a place to keep all things important. For Christmas 2004 I received "Mamaw's Cookbook" from my Aunt Anita. She compiled many of the handwritten recipes that were discovered in the recipe box. into a binder with Mamaw's smiling face on the front. The book included the favorites which we all grew up on, such as cream candy and pound cake. I miss Mamaw often, but opening her cookbook brings back a heartfull of great memories.

This Christmas, I am extremely blessed to have another holiday with my Dad, which is a 'best' present in and of itself. Last Christmas Dad was at the end of what would be his last round of chemo. He felt fairly well and displayed a nice shiny noggin. This year, we find ourselves basically out of available treatment options for his cancer. We've spent much of this year driving to Duke, sometimes twice a month, for a clinical study he participated in there. Regardless of why we were traveling there, it was great to spend so much time from my busy life with him and my mom on those long road trips. He is a little fatigued these days and his numbers seem to be looking well, despite the doctors telling us the disease continues to progress. With that, I fully appreciate that this is a Christmas to treasure and savor.

As to another physical gift, when I was little, Dad would recite from memory, Twas the Night Before Christmas. I knew exactly what I wanted when I saw the latest holiday offering from Hallmark was that traditional story, in a recordable version. Apparently everyone in the country also thought this was a great gift, as well since ALL of the stores sold out. Even small county Kentucky Hallmarks sold out. My mom found one on Ebay and didn't have to pay too much of a premium. Dad was a ready and willing participant to record his voice. Thus, for years to come, I (and maybe that kid that we may or may not have) will always have my Dad to read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

From our home to yours, I hope everyone has a merry Christmas filled of wonderful memories and a happy New Year.


Katherine said...

merry christmas!!

valerie said...

What a gift from your grandmother.
I consider gifts different than presents - true gifts are of the heart and mind...that is what your Aunt and Dad gave you this year. Those are priceless.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas.
I am so glad we can keep in touch.
(love the neon purple watch too...)