Monday, December 10, 2007

My Favorite Christmas Gifts: One to Ride, One to Wear, One to Share

Every year, as far back as I can remember... and even before that, I've wanted a horse for Christmas. In fact, the first word I learned to write (after my name) was "horse", so that I could put it on my Christmas list. When other little girls were hoping for doll I was hoping for a horse.

As a child I didn't understand the complexities involved in owning a horse. I just knew that I wanted one. I've been told that at the ripe old age of two I already had my heart set on getting one. (There's a story that goes along with that Christmas when I was 2 but you'll have to wait for my December 12th post to hear it.) I never did get a real horse but I did get a bouncy horse. It was definitely one of my all time favorite Christmas gifts.

Here I am on the bouncy horse. This photo was not taken when I was 2 but a bit after that time.

Along with my desire for a horse, I've always had an eye for pretty baubles. Even as a child I had a discriminating eye... no plastic play jewelry for me. Oh no. I wanted gold and silver, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. The more sparkle and shine the better! Unfortunately, I wasn't born into a wealthy family. So what I got was costume jewelry, the kind that tarnishes :-7

Finally, after much begging and pleading, my dad bought me my first piece of fine jewelry for Christmas when I was 14. It was a blue star sapphire ring, set in white gold with a couple little diamond chips. I was so excited, beyond excited really. My dad got such a kick out of my reaction that he followed it up the next year with another ring, an opal set in yellow gold with a couple diamond chips. With those gifts my addiction to fine jewelry was born and the men in my life since that time have had a hard act to follow.

Here's me opening the blue star sapphire ring.

The blue star sapphire and opal rings from my dad.

I was the baby in the family, and the only girl. I was the apple of my daddy's eye. The truth is, I was spoiled. I didn't get everything I wanted throughout the year. As a matter of fact I didn't get hardly anything. My parents believed that you had to work to earn the things you got in life and you shouldn't expect to have things handed to you. However, they always did Christmas in a big, big way. With the exception of a horse, I always got everything on my Christmas list (everything that was age appropriate and affordable for them that is). I was the envy of all my friends.

As an adult I've received many lovely gifts from family and friends over the years and I treasure them all. I'm a sentimental person, a romantic, a dreamer. And I love prezzies!

Some of the most wonderful gifts I've received in recent years came from the family members I've found in Poland. I could do a whole series of posts on the wonderful gifts I've received from them. As if finding them and learning of my family history was not enough! I am truly blessed. And I am grateful for my Genea-Angel who watches over me and guides my family history research.

This lovely tablecloth is just one of many gifts I've received from my family in Poland.

I've been thinking about which Christmas presents were the most fun to give and I'd have to say without a doubt it was all the presents I've given my children over the years. We've sort of carried on the family tradition of doing Christmas in a big, big way. My children are spoiled and I've enjoyed every minute of spoiling them. It's just so gosh darn fun to watch them tearing into a mountain of presents on Christmas morning!

[The Advent calendar number graphic used in this post was created by NicNic at the NBK blog.]