Friday, December 17, 2010

The Best Things

They say the best things come to those who wait, and I couldn't agree more. (In fact, it’s a rule we live by. Rule #3, to be exact, but that’s another story.) There’s just something about the anticipating, the building up of excitement, the looking forward to something. And no time of year is a better example of this than Christmas time.

When I was growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money, and my mom couldn’t afford to buy us a lot of stuff during the year. So when Christmas time came, she stretched her budget as far as she could without getting the heat turned off, and she did her best to give my brother and me a nice Christmas. Some Christmases were a little sparser than others, but you wouldn’t know it by looking under our tree.

Mom wrapped each gift so beautifully, it looked better than the professionals at the mall. She added shiny ribbons and bows. Even the tags matched the paper perfectly. Each package was piled high with multi-colored ribbon, curled and shredded. This way you couldn’t just stack the presents under the tree. No, you had to carefully lay them out so the bows and ribbons wouldn’t get squished. This made the gifts spill from the under tree and sprawl out into the living room. It looked like there were more gifts than there actually were. The fancy wrapping and floor covered in gifts added to the anticipation. Each gift was so beautiful, we were just dying to know what was inside. And when Christmas morning finally arrived, we almost hated to open the gift and ruin the perfect presentation of it. Almost.

Christmas tree 2010
Now as an adult, I love wrapping presents almost as much as I love giving them. I see Matt pull that long Rubbermaid container full of wrapper paper rolls down from the rafters, and I get so excited! It’s my favorite Christmas box! I love cutting the paper to the perfect size, choosing the ribbons and bows and tags that match the paper. I fold the edges of the paper over to make a clean line. I curl the ribbon and tape it to the top of the box so the curls spill down the sides, just like my mom used to do.  As much love goes into the presentation of the gifts as goes into picking them out. Our Christmas tree now looks just like it did when I was a kid, the underneath stuffed full of fancy bows and sparkly anticipation that spills out into our living room.

The best things in life aren’t things at all. They’re moments, memories. That’s why Matt and I take so many vacations. I’m not a jewelry girl, I’d rather see the world. Or just go to the ocean or the mountains for the weekend. That way there’s always something to look forward to. We already have LBK’s first Hawaii vacation booked for October 2011.

It’s the love for anticipation that keeps us from finding out if LBK is a boy or a girl. It doesn’t matter. Either way, it will be an incredible surprise in just a few short months. I know some people would hate not knowing, not being able to plan. But we LOVE not knowing. Not knowing what’s inside the package adds to the anticipation. And the anticipation is all part of the gift.

Side note: Speaking of anticipation, sorry to make you wait over two weeks since my last post.