I have many memories of holidays with my family. When I think back, I remember the laughing. I remember the fun. I remember the excitement of waking up with my sister an sneaking out to see if Santa had paid us a visit. What don’t I remember? The gifts. Well, for the most part.
When I was around 12 years old, my mom came up with a way for us to do something to show how much we cared for one another. She came up with Love Gifts. These were not any ordinary gift. They came from the heart.
We had to come up with a way to do something, out of love, for another member of our family. The only requirement was that it had to be free. It couldn’t be to take someone out to dinner or buy someone something they wanted. Nope. We had to look within ourselves and decide what would be the best gift to give to someone in our family.
I remember a few of the ideas we would share included:
- Do the dishes on your turn, once a month, all year long.
- Wash the pickup 3 times this summer.
- Be your slave for a day and wait on you.
- Do all of your chores for one week.
The ideas are endless! We would also make sure to include a note to let the person know that we did appreciate and love them. These gifts were always hand written (makes it much more personal) and then wrapped up in small boxes. They were placed under the tree with a HEART on them. The heart could be on the tag or even attached with ribbon.
We would open all of our gifts as a family. The love gifts were the LAST gifts to open. We were not allowed to touch them until all of the other presents had been opened. The anticipation of those gifts was just as great as those in the boxes with the big ribbons. If anything, we were more excited to see what someone was going to do for us – and the joy on the faces of one another to see how excited they were to have us do something for them.
This is the perfect gift that anyone can give to anyone they know and love. Just think about what it is you could do for them during the next year to show them how much you appreciate and love them. It could be some of the ideas we listed above. I am sure you could also think of things that would be perfect for the person on your list!
Write down the gift. Wrap it as usual. Make sure you place a HEART on the package. That way, you know it is your love gift.
The amazing thing about these gifts is that more than 30 years after they were given out, I still remember them. I remember reading the letters we would write to one another to share that we really cared about them. I remember the fun of coming up with something different to do for each member of my family.
Most importantly, this gift – this simple gesture – stands out above all other things we would do on Christmas. And, isn’t that what it is all about?