Could This Be The Gift That Keeps On Giving?

Christmas is fast approaching. In fact, as I write this, it’s in just over a week. Usually I am on the ball and ahead of the game. This year, however, I seem to be dragging my feet. Over this weekend, we finally got our tree up. The lights were put on two days later. I’m hoping by the weekend that I’ll have it completed. Not only that, but I need to finish checking things off my shopping list before we leave for my parent’s house next week.

I realize Christmas is not just the time that we give gifts. It’s more about the people we share it with and the memories that are made. My husband and I have made it a point to not focus on giving more stuff, but rather gifting experiences for our daughter. This is true during her birthday as well. We’ve learned that it is the experiences that make the memories more special than the gift itself.


We asked Emma to produce a Christmas list for us earlier this month. We stressed that she can write whatever she wished for as long as it included things that she needed, wanted, and desired to experience. I was blown away when I saw her final list:

  • Dress shoes
  • Phone
  • TV
  • Pet guinea pig and a fish
  • Trips to Disneyland, Disney World, and Yellowstone
  • Pierced ears
  • Acting classes
  • Deep snow
  • More money to get a new house
  • Food and homes for the homeless
  • No more forest fires
  • Less terrorist attacks
  • To see in my dreams my great grandparents that I did not know

Emma has always had a big heart. She’s been described as having an old soul by many of my friends. In years past, she has asked Santa for those things that we could only wish he could bring: her mom to not have to battle cancer again, or her auntie to get better from her breast cancer treatments. It’s not often she asks for a lot of stuff, just some things she really, REALLY wants – like that television she desires for her room or the money for a new house so we can adopt a new sibling. I didn’t expect to see the items we lump into “World Peace.”

When I read Emma’s list, I realized that I was the one experiencing the memories. I didn’t need to go somewhere to make a new memory. I didn’t need to spend money to make my happiness shine through. All I had to do was ask my daughter to produce a Christmas list. With tears in my eyes and a full, happy heart, I hugged Emma. This was a moment I wanted to imprint in the files of my brain. This was a moment that not only made me happy because of the person she is becoming, but it made me happy because I’m here to see her become that person.

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