Monday, December 29, 2008

McFamily Christmas: Part 2, Gifting

Here’s the way it goes—Muffin and I shop and gift everyone. I also do a major amount of Nannie’s stocking gift shopping for all who are with us on Christmas morning.

The McGirls/husbands pick a name and shop for that one person, or two people if that sister is married.

Everyone shops for the Jbear/Gracie/Rowdy Girls. It’s just too much fun to limit this option.

At Thanksgiving since the entire family was at our house, we also had gifts ready to send with the W’s and Joy & Mike. They brought gifts here as well. We all tried to be good and save the opening ceremonies for Christmas morning, but, opening ceremony is for the Olympics. So Jonah found his Texas Tech T shirt early and proclaimed loudly that “It fits!” And I burned a lovely vanilla soy candle, beginning on Thanksgiving night. One night when I had body aches and my head felt three sizes too big and I was coughing non-stop, I also stewed in the bath tub with a bath bomb, gifted to me by Joy. And, my main gift from the girls, a big ITunes gift card, arrived in the mail with no warning to delay opening a couple of days before Christmas. My ears are twitching in anticipation of new music on my iPod!

Many toys and hair jewelry and movies and guitar accessories and toddler clothing and geek toys and books were ordered. All arrived at their proper destinations in a reasonable shipping time and were wrapped in shiny or printed paper, topped with bows. Or, my favorite, presents bagged in a pretty gift sack and stuffed with printed tissue for really speedy opening on Christmas morning. As always our stocking were too full and were laid on the stairway with contents spilling onto the stairs. The twins were beside themselves with joy just with the stocking gifts, so the adults in the family took a break and had breakfast—sausage balls and blueberry oatmeal bread with coffee—while they played.

Then we got serious. Boxes, sacks, gift wrap and envelopes were all over the house, which delighted the twins and frightened and confused Maggie, the Border collie, and Scooter, the Sheltie. Both Maggie and Scooter received treats and new throw toys, so don’t feel sorry for them. Everyone was surprised, excited, pleased, touched, loved and happy. The surprise was a gift from Dubby. Nannie had an inspiration this Fall while going through his things, and decided to give each of us some of the treasures he kept in his old barber shop safe. It has been in their house since he closed the historic barber shop in what was once the Drake Hotel, and he was the last barber in that shop. Between the Coffee Shop and the Western Union, the Barber Shop was located downtown, just one block from the T& P train depot. Daddy spent most of my childhood working there and his last few years in that shop was its owner. The safe was inherited from the previous owner, who inherited it when he bought the shop, etc. As far as I know the shop was opened with the hotel in 1919, the year Daddy was born. Perhaps the safe was placed there that year. I know that two of the captain’s chairs in my house were bought second hand for the shop in 1919 and my violin students and their parents still sit in them. They are solid oak and creaky, but functional. The safe has a small chunk missing where someone attempted a robbery many years ago. Even an axe failed to break the lock. My Mom feels like her money and goods are secure there.

When she opened the safe after Dubbie died and found a bit of money in the form of silver dollars and old quarters, she decided to split it up among “the kids”. Imagine opening these packages of coins, some in mint condition, from the 1940’s, ‘50’s and 60’s. There were a few Sacajawea gold pieces as well. It was as if we had just opened the fish’s mouth and found coins, just as Jesus instructed his disciples to do. Each of us had yet another legacy from Dubbie, this one saved for Christmas Day. I was again reminded of what Muffin said at Dubbie's memorial service, "If you think you knew Dubbie, just wait a few minutes and you will learn something new about him."

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