18 December 2013


The best gift you can give a loved one is by far, the gift of a pleasant memory. 

I made my roommate go check the mail today... I was exhausted, and in bed, and I didn't want to move. When she came in, she handed me the gas bill, but she also handed me a package.  On the box, I recognized the handwriting for my Grandpa Romary's, and immediately a smile came onto my face. The last time I saw my Grandparents was on Spring break in 2007, and since then I treasure the phone calls and letters I receive. 

I brought the package inside, and when I opened the package, I pulled out the card my Grandma had enclosed. Tears streamed down my face as I read her words. She reminisced about us grand kids eating "poofies" (multi colored mini marshmallows) out of plastic cool whip containers and drinking chocolate milk out of Tom and Jerry jam jars. I remember those trips to Gram's house fondly. Enclosed in the package was a bag of those beloved poofies. I laughed out loud because it was so perfect, and unexpected. But as I kept sifting through the newspaper, to my surprise, there was a Tom and Jerry jar too. It touched me so deeply that she had sent such a special token of my childhood. It is so powerful that even now, the tears are welling in my eyes.

But perhaps more powerful, is the second gift she enclosed. Sitting inside the Tom and Jerry jar were two bells. They were given to her, by her father, on her wedding day in the early 60s. I don't remember my Great Grandpa Rainey. He died in 1994 when I was only four years old, and the only memory I have of him is a photograph that hung in my Grandparents' house. These bells had hung in her kitchen for as long as I can remember... I never knew their story, nor their significance. But she gave them to me, and no other gift can be given that is more precious to me than this.

"Regular" Christmas gifts are great... don't get me wrong. Last year, and the year before they were sets of beautiful winter hats, gloves and scarves. I love them, and I wear them often. This year it was a beautiful watch... One that I cannot bring myself to change from Central Standard Time in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Mountain Standard Time for Salt Lake.

But those poofies, bells, and the timeless Tom and Jerry jar out weigh them all. They always will. They put their unconditional love for me over their disappointment of my past actions and words. They put their love for me over the expectation to shut me out like my parents and siblings. Today they chose to see me as God sees me, rather than as my mother and father see me.

This year, Gram and Gramps sent me the gift of love. The gift of tender care and mercy. They emulated Christ. They followed His commandment to "love one another as I have loved you." By showing me Christ like love, they truly put Christ back into Christmas.

Thank you Gram... I love you.


  1. What a sweet story. Hurray for grannies! My one remaining grandparent is 97 and still a pistol. They are simply awesome. My memories are crepes and, believe it or not, bowling with her.

  2. Gifts that touch the heart and the mind are the best. I'm glad your grandma thoughtfully gave you those gifts!