Gifts and Memories

I had a coworker recently ask me what my favorite Christmas gift of all time was and I had to stop and really think. What easily came to mind was a gift I got on my birthday instead. I was eight and it was a life-size Alf doll. My birthday party was in the park that summer, hi Southern summer birthday baby, and I had a Snow White cake. The cake was terrible-the bakery had decided to get the river effect on the cake they’d use gel toothpaste instead of food coloring in the frosting.

At 35 I still won’t use gel toothpaste, especially blue gel toothpaste.

Bur more than that, I remember getting that Alf doll. I carried that sucker everywhere. He was my dude. (and probably between he and MacGyver, my start of loving aliens and crime shows) If I am not mistaken, my mom has actually kept him tucked away in case he decides to make a comeback.

The longer I thought on my coworker’s question though, I had a hard time recalling these standout toys or gifts with the exception of Minnie Pearl, my gorgeous pearl Kitchen Aid mixer I received. When we are honest with ourselves, I’d say we all have a hard time remembering what we received when we were 10 that we begged to get…or at 23. We may be able to pick out a handful of things but more importantly I think we remember the people we were with, the feelings we shared, and the moments.

I remember the Christmas when my dad started getting sick and what would lead to six months of unknown and questions of his survival, hope for a liver transplant. I remember the first Christmas with a cute little 9 month old nephew, and subsequent Christmas with a three week old second nephew. Christmas spent mourning the loss of a beloved grandfather, and some spent dodging the awkward family interactions.

We wrap up gifts in pretty paper and ribbons, with expectation that this is something the receiver has wanted or didn’t know they wanted. The expectation of joy on their face and delight in their hearts. I do that too y’all, especially as the nephews get older.It’s about the memories and moments, some joyous and some difficult. But all woven into our Christmas story.


What’s a gift or story you remember at Christmas? What was a favorite gift you received or that you gave?

The Fort and the Legacy

The Saturday adventuring continued this weekend, as I went “home” to Knoxville. Having lived there for 12 years through college, grad school and post-grad life it became my home. It’s always good to go back and see how it’s changed, and some of the things that stay the same, visit family and friends, and enjoy it as a little respite from life. Next week I will celebrate five great years in Nashville, and this week two years in my own home (hooray!) so I thought it was right to get back to Knoxville where these big plans of life all started.

My sister and I decided to jaunt out to James White Fort in honor of Statehood Day on June 1, celebrating 220 years. While ridiculously hot (hi June in the South) it was really cool to see the juxtaposition of the oldest building in the state against the backdrop of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, downtown, and the Tennessee River.

 

It was a great weekend filled with time well spent thinking on the legacy we are leaving now for people to see two hundred years from now. What are we building in our lives, our homes, the people around us that leaves a lasting imprint like this? What will people read about and discover about us centuries into the future?