Inklings: Celebration seasons

  • Thursday, July 21, 2011

Most of us think of Christmas as our biggest gifting season. We make much merry then. For the Hill Clan the second most rejoicing we do is during the summer. Between the beginning of June and the end of August we have 11 family celebrations over four generations.
If we stretch it a bit to include mid May to mid September, the number rises to 15. This includes two deceased relatives. But we always quietly remember them on what was their special day.
When my mother was still alive and it got harder for her to get around, she initiated cash or gift card giving. She had four kids, nine grands and 21 great grands – quite the list. I never really thought much of this method of giving presents until two things happened. First, I got a bit of age on me. Often gift cards can be purchased at one store or at nearby stores, thus eliminating a lot of travel and looking. This makes it much easier on a rapidly maturing giver. The second thing was that somebody actually gave me a gift card. I discovered I was thrilled to be able to pick out a treat I really wanted and was so grateful to the giver. With a bit of investigating, I also discovered that not only did grandsons Jimmy, Drew and Riley enjoy being able to put a gift card towards an electronic gadget, musical instrument, or construction kit they had been wanting, but their parents liked the idea as well. Our son David enjoys a certain brand of shirt. He’s been wearing them for a couple of decades and they fit like a tailored garment. He doesn’t get much of a surprise for his birthdays because he made the mistake of making such a fuss over that first gift card that I’ve been repeating it over and over. But he does look good in those shirts! Kids, in-laws and siblings alike, tell me they like doing their own choosing.
Daughters Cathy and Mary Clare both love clothes – naturally – and both love to update their home décor. I try to tune into their social and domestic plans and select cards at a shop or at one of the interior decorating emporiums they each frequent. I’ve yet to find a place that can’t come up with a gift certificate if you ask.
I make an exception in the gift card pattern for my youngest grands. Adam, who is sneaking up on three, wouldn’t be much thrilled with a gift card. He’d rather grab hold of something colorful that makes a lot of noise. And Anna and Grace are both such girly-girls already, that we have our own birthday ritual. I take them out for a fancy lunch and then we go shopping for a new outfit. We all love doing this.
Jim and I have not often been a couple who gets each other practical gifts (thank goodness) especially for anniversaries. He did, though, give me a gun as a wedding gift. He was gone a lot and taught me how to shoot for protection. He also gave me a diamond studded watch so I’ve kept him for 54 years!
This man knows how to celebrate, no matter what the season.

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