Argyle Socks are Not the Perfect Christmas Gift.

As the shopping season draws near, the gifting thoughts begin, ranging from books, to small ceramic vessels, to experiential pottery time, and I am thinking back to an entry I wrote but never posted.
This is a reflection on a time past.
I have to share. Because as I approach the topic of grief every ‘now and again’, I feel it is important to recognize what grief may look like! Sometimes it is not what you expect.
Here is what I wrote.

The socks were a small sweet gesture for a dear one who appreciates warmth on cold winter feet. They were Merino wool. The warmest and finest of wools. Ahhhhhhhhh. It was a frivolous – yet reasonable purchase for the holiday exchange.

But they were ‘argyle’. As the gift was opened, a comment had been made about the pattern. We chuckled and left it at that. The conversation inside my head and heart, however, continued on for quite some time.
It was caused by those button pushers. Do you know what I mean when I say that?
The comments that throw you up against the wall. Unannounced. No warning. Just slamming you into your own past experiences. Tears welling up in your heart, you realize things still aren’t settled. “Grief”.
I think the door to this heart experience will always be there. It may “ease” over time, as they say. But when the door opens, wow, does it swing hard and wide!

When our children were younger, gifts were encouraged to be ‘hand-made’. That comes from my history – working with my hands. And my husband? He did too. Build with his hands.
Gifts made by children are so precious, made with such love and adoration. But not everyone views these gifts as I. As one of five children growing up on a family farm, we didn’t have much. And we didn’t have much to ‘give’ either. So those little things that we came up with, to give, were our world. Our worldly efforts. Our giving efforts, with what we had.

I have since taught our kids to be gracious receivers. Even when the gifts aren’t exactly what you want. You appreciate the gesture. The act of giving by the other person. It was and still is the golden rule.

So as another Christmas gift-giving season rolls around, I will again cherish the act of making with hands, for loved ones.
Honestly – there is nothing like it!
And the argyle socks are – I think – getting used! (wink)

Living fully – carving a life,


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