The Christmas Tree Owl

So I’m an advocate for thought-filled gifts. Most of you know that about me by now. I long ago gave up being impressed by expensive gift buying at Christmastime. I’m at the point in my life when I’m pretty much able to buy something if I truly want it. I don’t often “want” things simply for the sake of “wanting” but every once in awhile I’ll splurge on something that really catches my eye. Truthfully, that doesn’t happen often. My kids will tell you that. Okay, I do buy quite a few books, but books are a need, not a want, right? See, I knew you’d all agree.

I’m just not a shopper. I don’t particularly like to browse the stores. I like to go with a purpose in mind, get what I want and go home. Not much fun, huh?

Now I’m not for a moment suggesting that everyone should stop buying gifts for one another, nor am I saying that a costly gift cannot be a “thought-filled” gift, because it can depending upon the circumstances. We all know that. There are many things that factor into our gift buying, first and foremost getting something we know the other person would like and want.

I’m no expert when it comes to gift-giving. But one thing  I can honestly say is that the gifts that have touched my heart the most, in many cases, have been quite simple. And cost more in the way of time and consideration than money.

Today, I was unwrapping ornaments and came across this “Christmas Tree Owl” my daughter made me last year, and the little poem that accompanied. (I’ve mentioned that this family is big on writing silly poems.) It is a snapshot of that time and place, and will forever be looked back on with fondness— Miss Charlotte’s first Christmas.

I wonder what memories we will make this year?

The Christmas Tree Owl
 
Twas the week before Christmas, and you can be sure
Things were much busier than ever before.
There was a new baby, just eight months old
Charlotte Rose was her name, as the tale goes.
 
When it came time for bed, she’d hoot and she’d howl
For little Miss Charlotte was quite the night owl.
But sooner or later, not before  nine
She’d drift off to sleep with on final whine.
 
Once all tucked in, then Mommy would act
Working hard though the night on this Christmas gift craft;
A little owl for your tree as your yearly reminder
A sleeping baby, you know, there ain’t much that’s finer.
 
Since it’s Christmas, and we should all be filled with some Christmas spirit, can we share with one another our stories about a thought-filled gift you once received or gave?
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18 Comments

  1. If you are the grandchild of a teacher like mine are, there is no wondering about gifts. Grandpa’s giving you books and a savings bond. Every year.

    Reply
  2. My mom’s painted glass-bulb ornaments are the highlight of my decorating every year. I wish she’d done more but she never sticks to any one thing for very long.

    Reply
  3. I love the owl and the poem! Those are definitely the best gifts. :D

    Reply
  4. It’s wonderful when someone ‘gets’ you at Christmas–or any time. Last year my husband and son put together an ‘unwind’ package: a book from one of my favourite authors (Louise Penny), a CD, and a box of Ferrero Roche chocolates–and the solitude to enjoy them. Perfect.

    Reply
  5. This year, I am so excited to give my sister her gift. When we were kids, we loved playing with paper dolls. I had a set of teddy bear dolls that she always wanted, but she never found them and I always wished could have had them for herself. So for Christmas, I hunted down an original set of those Teddy Bear paper dolls. They are so perfect! I can’t wait to see her face. :-)

    Reply
    • Oh C.B. I’m excited just to read your comment..What a great gift!! This is what gets me excited at Christmastime. :)

      Reply
  6. Ah Laura, how delightful. I can only imagine how wonderful it will be when the little night owl is old enough to enjoy the true meaning of this poem. After so many years, parents and brothers and two children it is still easy for me to remember.

    I was eleven and wanted so desparately to fit in with the other girls (early puberty haunted me) and all I wanted were snappy indoor roller skates. My mother informed me that with my lousy ankles I’d probably break my neck trying to skate on the smooth wooden surface of the indoor rink. She said I couldn’t have them (for my own good) … but I had a brother … The Big Guy … who was like the Dad in A Christmas Story … and he knew I wouldn’t fall or poke my eye out. On Christmas morning I woke to a big box wrapped in bright red paper. He waited until I opened them all … okay another blouse, a puzzle and a book … ho hum … A doll? Who wants a doll at eleven?

    Then I opened the last and it was my skates … he informed my mother that he had made special leather ankle supports and that she should not worry. That remains for me the best Christmas present I ever got!

    Reply
    • I just bet it was the best Christmas ever! I’m also betting that as you reflect back, it is the the fact that your brother was able to pull this off for you more than the skates themselves that made it the most memorable.. What a great story, Florence.

      Reply
  7. Last year, the gift that touched me the most were free decals from the local humane society. You put them on your door to alert the fire department that there are animals inside, and what their names are.

    It made me cry–not for the gift itself, exactly, but that my boyfriend loves my cats and understands how much I love them.

    Reply
    • An excellent point, Holli. That perfect gift doesn’t have to cost a dime. It only has to be the perfect gift, and the other person knowing what that perfect gift is for you. :)

      Reply
  8. When my boys were young, all in elementary school, we had my parents visiting for Christmas. We had set up the tree downstairs in the rec-room. Christmas morning it was my turn to open my gift. It said from Santa on a good size box. I was excited, not because I had a particular gift in mind but because my parents were there. I opened it up, then had to act fast and fake a big smile. It was a dark green snowsuit, the kind men wear in camps. A sensible gift, yes. But ooh it was ugly. I could just picture how I was going to look much like the abdominal snowman.

    To hide my disappointment, I made some excuse about putting the turkey on, and rushed upstairs. I walked into the kitchen and there in the middle of the room was a brand spanking new dishwasher! Made me cry. Of course I turned around to find the entire family standing in the stairwell. That was a wonderful Christmas.

    That night I served Christmas dinner to my entire extended family, not realizing that in a few years half of them would be gone.

    Reply
    • The thing about these special moments in our lives Joylene, is exactly what you say, we don’t know who in our lives will be there the next time a holiday like this comes along. We need to cherish every moment and not take them for granted.

      Reply
  9. That owl is cute! Nice poem to keep, too.

    Reply

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