the best gift ever


Maybe I have told you this story before, maybe not. I just don’t remember. But the most unforgettable gift I ever received was from my wife Holly three months after she had died.

In our family, one of the main holiday traditions we had adopted was the expectation that friends and family could escape the giving of expensive gifts with a Christmas decoration for our tree. We created a book where we listed the year, the ornament, and the name of the friend(s) who had given it. Whether the ornament was a glass ball or a paper bauble made by a child, it was listed in that book and was equally valued.

Year after year, our tree became more heavily laden with these tokens and reminded us that the true wealth we possessed were our many relationships with the people we loved. This tradition was one of the principal ways our family had weaned itself from the materialism that seems to have infected the season.

In 1993 Henry and I were facing our first holiday season without Holly. We had erected the tree and decorated it as in years past, but it just didn’t seem the same. Then one day a package arrived containing glass ornaments. Somehow Holly had arranged that they would arrive when we were feeling at our lowest. She seemed to be saying that she was still with us.

According to the Northern Tradition, the Yule is a time when the doors between the worlds of the living and dead stand ajar. Holly was reminding us of that, and since then, the distinction between the worlds has been forever fuzzy for me.


Groove of the Day

Listen to the Vienna Boys’ Choir performing “O Tannenbaum”


4 Responses to “the best gift ever”

  1. 1 Max's Scout Services & Communications, LLC
    December 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    lovely story

    Merry Christmas

    ` Uncle Buck

  2. 2 Max's Scout Services & Communications, LLC
    December 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Max's Scout Services & Communications WebBlog and commented:
    Love and Merry Christmas (or Happy Hannukah) to all!!

  3. 3 Frank Manning
    December 25, 2014 at 2:47 am

    Merry Christmas, Dan!

  4. December 25, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Merry Christmas to all.

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