Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The best gift

My extended family had a Christmas get-together this last week, and every year we exchange gifts. Since Money is tight for most people, I suggested we trade books for our presents. It couldn't be just any book either. It had to be a favorite, one that would hurt to give away.

I think my children were in actual physical pain wrapping up their adored stories. But in my opinion, it isn't a true gift unless you make a sacrifice of some sort. That is what makes it so meaningful. At least to me.

My sister, Tina, came to me before the exchange and said she'd brought a very special book to trade. One that had been our beloved, adored Grandmother's, who we'd worshiped as children. Tina wanted me to have it because she wanted it to go to one of us sisters, and not a spouse or cousin by marriage. I totally understood. I wanted it to stay in someone's hand who would truly appreciate what it was—a book of stories and articles by Ernie Pyle, called Home Country, that our Gram had read over and over. A book her hands had caressed.

My Gram had even signed her name in the front. Her signature was priceless to us, proof that she'd lived, that she'd made a difference in so many ways. Making sure the book landed in my hands would prove impossible.

Twelve adults sat at the table where we would play a game where every time the word “right” was said, we'd exchange gifts to the right. Every time “left” was read, we traded to the left.

You get the idea.

Back and forth we went for over ten minutes. It was a super fun game, but I knew the odds of that book ending up with me. I just prayed went to one of my sisters who would truly love it like I would.

You'll never believe what happened. The trade game came to an end and guess which book sat before me.

Yep. My Gram's.

I could not believe it. I guess some things are just meant to be! It's one of those times when I whole-heartedly believe in destiny. It's a Merry Christmas to me!

I also gave two of my very favorite books. The Jester, by James Patterson—which I have read more than once, and Become, by Allie Cross, which I'd just barely bought and couldn't lay down. You are more than welcome to steal this idea for your party!

I hope your Christmas season is wonderful, and have a Happy New Year too!


Old Kitty said...

Happy Christmas to you too Melissa! Your Gran's book is in the bestest safests loveliest hands! Take care

Better is Possible said...

What a great idea. And how wonderful that you got your Gran's book. I think I may be stealing your idea. Just got to check with my sister in laws. Merry Christmas.

Julie Daines said...

That sounds like a really fun idea. We do this with our book club in December because many of the members are too busy to read a novel that month. So we all bring a wrapped book and play an exchange game and have lots of fun. Who doesn't love a good book?

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a wonderful story, and I think you're right: that book was meant to end up in your hands.

Laura Marcella said...

This is a wonderful idea, Melissa! I love playing that left-right game. My extended family has done that a couple times at Christmas. I'm happy you got your Gram's book! Have a very merry Christmas!!

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