The Best Present I Can’t Remember

presentI love getting presents. I love giving presents. Wrapping packages, unwrapping packages, ribbons, bows, brightly colored paper and the look on the recipient’s face. Fun!

But how many presents do I remember? And how far back? Over the weekend I was trying to remember my favorite Christmas presents from childhood. I remember the horse I didn’t get. I know I got a pink buggy and a doctor set. But only because I’ve seen the pictures. What gifts do I remember unwrapping and loving?

There are two. One was a stuffed cat. It was yellow with a white chest and it was sitting. It came in a square, white box that Mom made into my Valentine’s box to take to school with me in February. I don’t know why, but I just loved that little cat. The second was a book about King Arthur and his knights. It was from Virginia Hoover, who gave my brothers and I a book every year. I wasn’t impressed at the time we opened it, but what a story.

And that’s about it. I know of lots of other gifts–remember playing with them, but I don’t remember getting them. Dozens and dozens of presents my parents picked out just for me. And what do I remember? A cat and a book.

Which made me think about how we never know what will take root. When my book is published (I hope!), who knows what will stick? What will resonate with people? I put all kinds of good stuff in there, but that’s not necessarily what anyone will take away. The fabulous pink, baby buggy may not be what a reader needs. It may be the little, yellow cat that I forgot I put in there.

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

5 thoughts on “The Best Present I Can’t Remember

  1. Interesting! I wonder if gift giving is one of your love languages. I know it’s definitely one of mine. But you are right, even though we treasure giving and receiving gifts, they often end up forgettable. And the analogy with your book is very wise; you never know what readers will treasure in it!

  2. My best present, without doubt, is a hand made book of handwritten poems bound in cheap construction paper, red on the front, green on the back bound by hole punches and ribbon. As I recall, the poems weren’t very good. Rather childish I thought. Thing is, the man who gave me this gift of original hand written poems bound in ribbon and construction paper was, maybe 60 years old. He lived alone with cats in the second story rear porch of a dilapidated old house. Every morning I climbed the steep exterior steps to place his newspaper just inside the door away from the wind and rain and snow of upstate New York. I was his newspaper delivery boy. I was 12 or 13. I don’t think I ever said more than one or two words to him. “Good morning, sir.” and “Thank you.” just about covers it. The day he gave this special Christmas present I took it home, went up to my room and read the poems. It wasn’t the poems that got me thinking. It was the gift.

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