I love Christmas, and I’ve been ready for the holiday season for longer than some would deem “acceptable.” I’ve had a list of gifts to buy or make for family and friends ready since the beginning of October, but that could be because I just like being prepared.
In any case, the holidays always hold a special place in my heart, and in my family. We set aside our difference and work together to make great memories.
I will always love the memories of my rather large family coming together in the beginning of December to decorate not only the tree, but the entire house. Once we were finished it sort of looked like Christmas threw-up everywhere, but we loved the lights and glitter, accompanied by Christmas cookies from our favourite bakery and eggnog, which we really only drank that day.
Just like now, I remember starting early in my shopping. I wanted to make sure I found the perfect gift my parents, or sisters or friends. Don’t even get me started on shopping for my oldest niece. She is a little spoiled because it has become a competition over the years to see who could come up with what would be her favourite Christmas present.
Careful thinking is something I pride myself in.
When planning for my friends I like to go around a theme, something I know they love and will treasure. It’s this great feeling seeing how much they enjoy what I put together for them.
One year my friend did the very same thing for me. What she got me remains, to this day, my one of the most memorable gifts I have received.
I am a little embarrassed about the gift, because it is quite childish, but I love it.
She bought me a copy of Barbie in the Nutcracker as well as my own nutcracker prince.
I can hear you all scoffing at me, let me explain, why I - a questionably fully grown adult - still love the gift of a young child’s movie, one that I got when I was a senior in high school.
I have loved the Nutcracker for as long as I can remember. It was actually the first ballet I performed in. Every year I watch the Nutcracker, either the ballet, in person if at all possible, or a movie version or sometimes a taped version of the ballet is aired on T.V.
I also try to collect any addition of the ballet I can. I have animated versions, one done by Veggie Tales, taped ballets and movies versions.
But, for years - literally years - I looked for the Barbie in the Nutcracker movie, which if you didn’t know, was actually the movie that started the Barbie movie craze of the 2000s, and I think I’ve seen them all.
Anytime I was in a store that sold movies I would look for a copy. New, used, I didn’t care I just wanted the movie.
I also didn’t care it was child’s movie. Not just any child movie but one specifically marketed towards young girls in Kindergarten.
When I opened the gift I was absolutely elated. A piece of my collection that I had been searching for, and my own nutcracker prince to go with it.
Looking back it is still one of my favourite, and most memorable, gifts I have received.
I wasn’t judged on how much I wanted this child’s movie. I wasn’t laughed at over how excited I was over getting this movie.
My friend had thought of me and all she knew about me, and she put together something that I still love 10 years later.
I think that is key if you are giving gifts over the holidays. I know we have all heard it before, but it is the thought that counts.
It doesn’t matter what you are giving, or if you think it’s dumb. If the person you are buying, or making for will love it because it shows how well you know them and love them, then it doesn’t matter.
Sometimes a simple gift, something small and seemingly silly, make all the difference in the world.
It did for me.