Saturday, December 24, 2005

Best Christmas Present Ever

Since my family is somewhat large (I am the youngest of 5 siblings and I have 13 nieces and nephews), we alternate each year spending Christmas day with the family or "the in-laws." This year it is Christmas day with the in-laws, so my family got together on Christmas-Eve to exchange gifts. With 20+ people getting together, we minimized the gift buying by having each person randomly assigned to get just one person a gift. I find it makes the holidays much more relaxing - just one gift to think about - and you can instead concentrate on more important matters such as spending time with family enjoying their company.

This year, I received two presents from my sister - the second one being a bonus gift. I have to say that this bonus gift is my favorite Christmas gift to date. And, it's not some whiz-bang electronics gadget, or a game, or anything like that. It's just a calendar with various family snapshots for the pictures for each month. But these are not just any family snap-shots - these are mostly rather silly ones, as can be seen by the sample for January, which was taken a couple years ago at Christmas:


Or this one for July featuring my dad playing the maracas while in the background my youngest nephew and I are playing a quiet game of chess. (Incidentally, I got my butt kicked - my nephew easily won.)

Not all of the pictures are silly. I also really like this one for February which shows one of my nieces (Hi bethd!) enjoying some Lego. (I'm not sure if those are some of the Lego I recently gave to her...)

I'm not sure why I was so touched by this gift, maybe because it reminds me of so many very happy times. In any case, it is greatly appreciated. And to think the only reason I got this bonus calendar was my sister got a special "buy two, get a third free" deal when she was putting together some calendars for our mom and her mother-in-law. It's interesting how small actions can have much larger effects than one might anticipate.