... seven decades makes a difference
The gifts I bought were gifts I would have loved opening when I was the age of the givee.The next day, the striped headband and flowered knee-socks were fitted to the right parts of the teenaged body, declaring their newness and enhancing their style.
The tiara? Ahhh, the tiara! I didn't wear a tiara until I was ten years old in a school play. This child would have a five-year memory advantage over me. She has an astounding natural beauty. Those diamonds and silver in her hair added to it.
Just as I had bought green ink for an older professional person in the family when I was ten, now Santa and I produced classic vases for the plant-lover, Red Sox shirts for the athletes and buckets of ten dollar bills for those who wore the latest styles.
Christmas during my senior years is resembling more and more the way I celebrated the birth of Jesus during my earliest years ... learning in awe.
This year I did someting new by attending a nighttime service in the church sanctuary for those who needed someting special this year -- those who had lost a loved one -- those who'd had bad family news -- those who were losing their grip on the rope of stability -- those who (you name it). I was there with a friend who absorbed the strength offered her by fellow congregants, by the familiar hymns, by the age-old bible-story verses. There were long, regularly spaced silences to be used however the congregants needed. It was a personal healing experience for the most part. It left me grateful that I had chosen to be a part of something so helpful and yet so simple, I looked and learned and forgot about my age. I'd received the perfect gift.
January 6, 2006