May You Give and Get the Perfect Gift this Season

Is there really a perfect gift? And, after all, what exactly is the perfect gift?

I can answer those questions much more clearly this week after receiving not one, but two perfect gifts from members of my work team. Both presents touched my heart and moved me to tears.

Let me explain.

A while back I wrote a blog that presented parallels between the story of the Wizard of Oz and communities.  In that blog I suggested that just as Dorothy was looking to find the ruby slippers, so too do many of our communities believe the fix for their communities is an external one. But, just as Dorothy learned she always had the power within her, so too do the most successful communities learn they have wizards and resources within.

Apparently the analogy resonated, because somehow, due in part to the searching and shopping power of the internet, our team presented me with a pair of ruby slippers that are a replica of those worn by Dorothy. Yes, totally covered in glistening sequins and in my size to boot. While that means they are actually wearable, I’m thinking they’re destined for a shadow box.

How cool a gift is that?

The second gift was also an emotional one. Rose, a member of our team who we refer to as the vice-president of nurturing, has this amazing creativity gene that she has channeled into what is best referred to as upcycling. A garage sale connoisseur, she finds old wedding dresses, christening gowns, jewelry, and fur coats, and then hand stitches and morphs them into astounding Christmas stockings and two foot high Father Christmases. They are sentimental momentoes, or as she calls them, sentimentoes. So while cleaning out my sewing cupboard this summer when I found a collection of trims, ribbon, and lace that had sat pretty much untouched for years, I knew Rose would put them to good use. I passed them on, and didn’t think about it again. 

When I opened a gift from Rose this week, I found two gorgeous, fur-trimmed, red shantung silk Christmas stockings. It took me a moment before realizing she had positioned pieces of the lace I had given her into a lovely collage and then embellished them with seeded pearls, rhinestones, embroidery, and jeweled brooches. But, what totally choked me up was the realization that I was also holding a lace collar once worn by my beloved Nana, the trim from my prom dress, lace given to me by a favourite aunt, and more. Items that had been shoved into a closet for years suddenly had a place and meaning as components of a truly beautiful piece of art.

Both gifts were perfect because they reflected so much thought, care, imagination, and creativity. And, ultimately, isn’t that what a gift is supposed to be?

Perfect doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Instead it should be just right. It isn’t about the cost of an item, as much as it is about finding or making a gift that meets a need, captures the imagination, touches the heart, fills a wish, or simply suits the receiver perfectly.

Like those I received, the perfect gift is probably something the recipient hadn’t even thought about or even knew existed, but when they opened it, they knew it was what they always wanted.

So as Christmas draws near, may you and your loved ones be blessed in both giving and receiving the perfect gifts. Happy holidays!

Posted on 12-18-11

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