Memories of presents are very limited for me. It seems to be the people and the gatherings that I remember and the fun of cousins and games and food. I am happy to say that it is the same for my girls, and relieved that the presents were not the main memory at all. But that being said, there are two christmases that stand out for them, just because of the nature of the presents.
One year, my mother had come for a visit just before christmas. She asked if I had gotten cabbage patch dolls for the girls (since she knew they were all the rage) and I said no, because I couldn't afford them. She said that she didn't want the girls going to a therapist when they were grown women because they never got a cabbage patch doll like all of the other kids! (she was only half joking...) At that point she got on the phone and called every store in Toronto that she could think of until she found two, and she paid for them herself. Since my girls were not expecting such a gift, it was a great surprise for them, and they will always remember that.
Another Christmas stands out for my girls as well, as far as presents go. I will have to backtrack a bit to tell you about this one. In the summer of that year, my sister and I were at a yard sale where a young teenage girl was selling all of her barbie doll stuff which included two barbies, lots of clothes, a pink corvette, and enough furniture to fill a barbie house included a little battery operated stereo which actually worked. My sister (who had boys) said that I needed to buy the collection for my girls. The asking price was $25 and even though it was a great price, I did not have $25. So, my sister bought it and said I could pay her back when I had the money. I kept it hidden from the girls planning to give it to them for christmas.
The fall of that same year, my husband, who taught a night class, 'carpentry for women', was asked to have a barbie doll house as a project. The school paid for the sample house but we got to keep it. This also we kept a secret.
On christmas morning of that year, when my two little girls (who were used to small handmade gifts and a colouring book or two) saw this amazing site they were overwhelmed with joy. I still have pictures of them. They recall that as their best childhood christmas morning ever! And to think that their best christmas was their parents' cheapest christmas, costing only $25 plus a few stocking stuffers (I always found a huge orange and a huge apple can really make a stocking look full!)
I do have a point in telling you these stories. God is our provider. He provided certain kinds of presents for my girls, when their own parents could not (or would not). God is the one who provides. Sometimes he just lets us feel like we are helping him.
Tomorrow I can't wait to tell you about the fun we had camoflauging our presents.