The Gift...

Lately we've been talking about the difference between a gift and a present. That's not an easy thing to explain to a 3 year old, or a very excited 9 year old. But..I think we got it. Maybe. :D After one of my talks with my 3 year old, I was enjoying some quiet time as he napped and started thinking about the 'gifts' I've been given. It's amazing to me to realize all the things I'm blessed with, and the people who have touched my heart. This year, my husband got me the greatest gift. To most, it will seem crazy and insignificant..but to me..it means the world.
A little background:
When I was a little girl growing up, Christmas was such a magical time for us. I never knew the financial status my parents were in until I was much, much older, and it shocked me to know that we weren't a 'rich family'. I never knew. My parents just always made sure we had what we needed, often going without themselves. One of my greatest Christmas memories was listening to a record over and over and over. It was one of the only ones we had. Every day my mom would play it as we got ready for school, and every night she'd turn it on as we lay in our beds trying to fall asleep. Sometimes, late into the night, I'd get up and peer out the crack in my door and see my parents dancing in the glow of the Christmas tree lights to the music on the record. Across the living room floor they'd float, smiling, laughing, and just enjoying their time. I always felt so secure and safe watching them dance to that special Christmas record.

As I got older, I discovered new Christmas CD's and songs..but the memory of that one Christmas record never left me. For years I'd try to find it somewhere online..but never found it. Year after year I'd look..only to walk away with no results.
Until this year.
I told my husband this story when we first got married, so he knew the importance of that record to me. Yes..he probably thought I was a bit crazy..but he knew how much finding that record would mean to me.
A few weeks ago, a package came in the mail. This is what it was:

My record. My Christmas memories on one LP record from years ago. He found it. Bought it. And had it put on a cd. I can't tell you how excited I was to listen to 'Ave Maria', sung by Placido Domingo, or hear "Twas the Night Before Christmas", told by Lorne Greene. All my childhood memories came flooding back within sounds of this record. And this..this was the greatest Christmas gift my husband has ever given me. A sentimental gift. One that would touch me deeper then anything I've ever been given. And why?? Because it allowed me to go back to a time in my life where the world was right. Where it was carefree and full of childhood joys. It allowed me to remember my parents in a way I will always remember them. This gift was from the heart, and one that didn't require a lot of money. Just...thought.

So..this holiday season as you're out shopping and looking for the perfect present..take a moment and think about what the perfect GIFT could be. Then smile when you've found it, because I promise it will be so worth it.

Here's a little photo of my sweet hubby...the lifelong gift I've been given.

*NOTE..I don't know who took the photo on the record, but if I did, I'd absolutely give them all the credit. It's a cool picture, don't you think?? :D*

Until next time..