Christmas gifts…

First of all, our needs are simple and our wants are few.

Second, we don’t want anything, we only think we do.

For years I fretted about purchasing the perfect gift until I realized, there is no such thing! As my mother said, “it’s the thought that counts”.  She’s right, but honestly “the thought” doesn’t come out of nowhere, it emanates from listening. People will tell you everything you need to know if you give them time. Really, the best gift is giving someone your full attention (and for Jessie,,. modeling language is #1).

She found the dog ornament as soon as she walked in the door.

This year, I wrapped gifts in front of Jess so there wouldn’t be any mystery. She did attempt to peek at one, but quickly realized it wasn’t something that interested her. She left a trail of unwrapped paper. Someday she will learn to be a sleuth.

Up until now, no present had been safe. It’s an Angel thing. Nothing more exasperating than finding Jess opening gifts, especially ones not meant for her. It isn’t the mess that upsets me, it’s because I hate to wrap, and especially hate to re-wrap!  So far, Jess has controlled her curiosity. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner? I classify reaching a milestone as a gift.

When it comes to taking information in, Jess doesn’t have a filter. Like a thief, she cases a room. While in this process, it may appear that she’s overwhelmed and distracted but really she is memorizing every item. Once this is achieved she settles in.

Several days after we decorated our tree, a friend gave me an ornament. As soon as Jess returned home, she immediately walked up to the tree and touched it. Jess has the ability to find anything new within moments (this is why I’m concerned about putting gifts under the tree that were wrapped by others). When I misplace my glasses or keys, I can count on Jess to find them, however, sometimes I hide things from her and can’t find them myself, like her iPad. Last week she couldn’t help herself from watching E.T. It’s the only thing that is 86‘d from her movie list. Upon hearing the music, Jess whimpers and will cry. This has been going on for years…sigh… After being warned, she lost her viewing privileges. It was the only way to break the obsessive cycle. The iPad is so well hidden, now it is lost.

We did get an unexpected big present early this month. After running errands one morning, I returned home hours later to find the dishwasher running (this reminds me of a phone prank but I’m afraid many readers are too young to know the joke). The odd thing was when I powered it off, it didn’t shut down, had to flip the breaker. We now tease Jess that she got a new dishwasher for Christmas so she won’t have to do dishes! When you are happy about an appliance for a gift, it means you have crossed over to being a grown-up.

My parents gave me money for a washing machine when I was in my 20’s. It was used and it was hooked up outside (this is possible when living in a tropical climate). The WM’s name was Willy, the Wonder Washer. I was thrilled not to have to go to a laundromat. Jess’s DW is named May, as in May-tag a long, the quietest DW in the east! Okay, so a DW isn’t a simple gift. I’m not sure if it’s a need or a want, however, we do appreciate it being a time saver and working on life skills.

Some of the best presents have been cards delivered, unexpected phone calls and finding cookies at our door. It really isn’t about the gift, but the mystery of what it could be. Maybe this is why Jess is excited about a wrapped gift or prefers going out on adventures. It’s the anticipation of the unknown that is thrilling to her. Gifts are hard to find but time I have plenty.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and wishing for Peace on Earth for the New Year!

PS- feeling grateful for all that we have.

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