From Pipi’s Pasture: Thinking about Christmas
I don’t know how December rolled around so fast, but what I do know is that there is a lot to do before Christmas and not a lot of time to do it. I’m going to make gift-giving simpler for myself this year — the “simpler” meaning less time shopping and more time planning gifts that are on the nostalgic side. When I think about it, that’s the best gift-giving. Perhaps you might enjoy giving this type of gifts, too. Here are some examples.
Most people I know, especially young people, enjoy talking about times past which include their parents’ early lives, where Grandpa and Grandma started their lives, and the way people lived in years past. So an especially endearing gift is framed photos from the past. A search through photos might turn up a picture of grandparents on their wedding day, a family ranch when grandparents or Dad and Mom settled there, Grandpa riding a horse that became a legend, or family group photos, to name a few.
Whatever the choice of photo, make an enlarged copy and then purchase a frame. Before framing the picture, write down the information about it. Include the date the photo was taken and where, who, and what is going on in the photo. Place this paper behind the photo when framing. The information is important because eventually the photo will be passed along.
A few years ago I made copies of a photo given to me by my brother Duane. The photo was of the Morapos Ranch when our parents first settled there. On a paper I included the date the photo was taken and information about the buildings, since much has changed on the ranch from then to present. The paper was inserted in the frame, behind the photo. The gift was the topic of conversation on Christmas Day, and our children and grandchildren have some historical information to keep.
The gift didn’t cost much money — only a little time.
You can do the same with pictures of your children taken during their special times. They might include the first day of school, sporting events, birthdays, 4-H or rodeo events, and more. One year I surprised my sister Charlotte with a photo taken years ago as we showed off our 4-H steers during one of the county fairs.
Similarly, sort through your children’s school artwork saved up over the years. Find a drawing or painting suitable for framing. Mat with a color that sets off the artwork. We did this with one of our son Jamie’s paintings that we found in a storage container of school work. He was in middle school when he did the painting and an adult when we gave it to him, but he remembered and was touched.
Again, the gift didn’t cost much money — just a little time to find the appropriate frame.
Another gift that doesn’t cost much money is a story that you can write, either fictional or from memories. Reproduce for family members and place in a folder with a cover that you design. This gift requires time but will be treasured.
Enjoy your Christmas giving!