It’s Not About the Stuff (But the Stuff Is Really Fun)

We interrupt this blogging break to check in and wish you a merry Christmas, and also to report that I may have to spend the rest of my life on my couch.  I have eaten approximately 47 pounds of food in the last five days, and I’ve warned Hubs that he may just have to roll me places for the rest of my life.

(Although I do think parents should get a pass for eating the Santa cookies on Christmas Eve.  I did NOT eat them because they were delicious and chocolatey and soft, I ate them because my children expected it.  It was good parenting, purely–one of many, many sacrifices a mother must make.  It is not a sacrifice for a father to make, because this mother got to the cookies first.)

Tonight (Christmas night) we opened gifts with my parents, grandmother, and my brother’s family.  After planting the children in front of Ratatouille, the adults sat in the dining room to exchange gifts.  We always draw names, so each person gets one very special gift–it’s a very meaningful tradition.  My mom drew my name this year, and I think I’m going to secretly engineer it so that she gets my name every year.  She completely outdid herself.  She gave me a great tote bag filled with the DVD of one of my favorite movies, a poetry book I’ve wanted for years, an amazing sewing book, two embroidery gadgets that are too clever for words, and then…then there was the tattered manila envelope at the bottom of the package. 

I opened it to find a half-finished set of embroidered placemats.  They were started, MANY years ago, by my grandmother.  We were very close–even though she’s been gone for 13 years, I still miss her terribly, especially at Christmas.  But tonight, I held that project of hers that was just as she left it, and I breathed in the scent of it (it still smells like her house!), and it almost felt like she was right here.  Included in the package was the original thread, enough that I can finish the project she began.  I think it’s the sweetest Christmas gift I’ve ever received. 

And so, as I sit here all happy and glowy and over-carb-ified, I just had to pop in and say hello.  And merry Christmas.  And please pass the Tums.

Posted in: Fun

58 thoughts on “It’s Not About the Stuff (But the Stuff Is Really Fun)

  1. Gretchen says:

    I have a red work quilt which was started for me by my great grandma when I was 10. My grandma just gave it to me to piece and quilt not too long ago. Enjoy the placemats and your special memories, Shannon.
    Merry Christmas.

  2. Makeshift Mama says:

    That is so sweet! I lost my grandma 13 years ago, and I still miss her dearly, even though my memories of her aren’t terribly clear anymore. She was a very special person. I’m so happy for you – what a precious, meaningful gift…

  3. Megan says:

    Glad to hear from you tonight. I feel your 47 pounds of food pain. As I got ready for bed last night I mentioned to Craig that I thought Santa had given me an extra 5 pounds for Christmas.
    Sadly, I think that is no joke. Sigh. YMCA here I come (next week…).

  4. Jill says:

    Wow, what an amazing gift! How great of your mom to know exactly how much it would mean to you.
    I too ate the Santa cookies & milk. My kids didn’t exactly put out the best cookies. I still ate them.
    I totally ruined my diet this week. I had lost 10 lbs so far, but I think I may have gained it all back in the last two days.
    Why oh why does everything need to taste so good?

  5. Edi says:

    I’m waiting until AFTER New Years to weigh myself! I figure there is no use getting worked up before all the holidays are said and done.
    We did take a 2 hour hike after our Christmas Dinner, I’m hoping I worked off at least 1/2 of my meal.

  6. Susan G. says:

    What a wonderful gift! I cannot wait to see the finished results – you will show us, won’t you?
    My grandmother died when I was seven and I still miss her. On Christmas, I let my daughter wear a necklace to church that Grandma had given to me. It was so sweet.
    Merry Christmas!!

  7. dana says:

    That is truly a special gift. And it is funny how scents can bring you right back, isn’t it? That is very special. Have a Merry Christmas!!!

  8. Missy says:

    Merry Christmas! What a treasure!
    I couldn’t sleep last night, due to the most horrendous sugar headache I’ve ever had. This morning I feel like I have a sugar hangover. South Beach, here I come!

  9. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

    I’m so glad you took a respite from your blogging respite. What an interesting gift. Is LMN’s poetry really good? I miss my grand very much. She is the one who taught me to garden at her knee. Blessings to you and your family. I put the fudge in the freezer to stop myself and then ate a piece of mincemeat pie for breakfast. Thank goodness there’s only one piece left.

  10. Queen B says:

    What a wonderful gift. That is just the sweetest thing I’ve heard. The second that I read about how the scent took you back, I got a little whif of her home, too! Your grandmother was such a sweet lady.
    This is the first Christmas in, well, forever that I did not eat too much. I cooked it all and that pretty much ruined the fun. Enjoy your break.

  11. Kelly says:

    What an amazing gift! Sounds like you had a great Christmas! And I feel your pain. I ate SO much and I am disgusted with myself!! So much so, that I woke up and ate a chocolate chip cookie bar and some ice cream.

  12. Carol says:

    Those are my favorite kind of gifts – where the person giving them did not just buy off of a wish list, but really took the time to show that they know and care for the person they are buying for. It is hard to do if you don’t see the person often, like a relative that lives far away, but when you can do it, it proves the point that “it’s the thought that counts.” Belated Merry Christmas to you!

  13. Jenni says:

    The stuff IS really fun! Especially when it has a history and a story like yours! It’s just too special that they can be a project you both had a part in.
    Hope your digestive system recovers soon…

  14. FeeFiFoto says:

    That’s SUCH a sweet story. I have a timeless midnight blue dress that my grandmother crocheted out of thread back in the fifties. I wear it occasionally and feel so special when I do.

  15. Melissa says:

    What a very special gift that you will always treasure! Your mom did a great job!
    I know what you mean about being rolled places! I have eaten, eaten and eaten some more!

  16. regina says:

    What a lovely bunch of memories you are making for your family. I’m glad you enjoyed your time with family, sad you ate 47 pounds of food!!
    Blessings to you and yours!

  17. Kelly says:

    I miss my Grandma most at Christmas too. I too have completely carbed out. If I never eat anything sweet again I will be fine,..well..until tomorrow. Hope to see you after the holidays. Kelly

  18. Lady Why says:

    Those gifts are just the best, aren’t they?! My favorite gifts are ones that my husband makes for me. This year he made me a stand for our family Bible. In years past he’s made me a dining room table (he’s a fabulous woodworker!), a Christmas picture of all my children praying around a Bible and a silouette portrait of the children… and that’s just the last four years. Those gifts are worth so much more to me than the expensive store bought ones!

  19. Lysa TerKeurst says:

    I love your best gift ever! Isn’t that what giving a gift is supposed to be all about— a little piece of someone else that we can savor, treasure, and remember. Sounds like your Christmas was very Merry~
    Sweet Blessings,
    Lysa TerKeurst

  20. Deb says:

    What an awesome gift from your mom! That was straight from her heart! Very special!!
    This is my first time leaving a comment and not lurking… I believe:)

  21. Amy says:

    As a fan of LM Montgomery from WAAAAAAAAAY back (DH and I even went to PEI on our honeymoon because of my obsession), I say enjoy your book. And, of course, the embroidery is priceless. Merry Christmas!

  22. Erin Morgan says:

    This brought me to tears – what a thoughtful gift your mom gave you. My great-grandmother and I were very close and I still have some of her crochet work that I vow to finish and continue one day. I also have the framed cross-stitch work that she taught me to cross-stitch on when I was in junior high. I’d love to see a post with the work of your grandmother’s and yours when you finish!

  23. Sally says:

    Sounds like you and your family had a wonderful Christmas- we did, too.
    Wishing you and yours a Wonderful New Year as well!!

  24. Alyson says:

    A favorite movie, a wonderful memory of your Grandmother? Truly priceless.
    I have a few of my grandmother’s crafts unfinished… she’s been gone for 7 years. I need to finish them. I think of her everyday (more than I think of my Mother — oops!!). Thank you for the lovely post. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

  25. Trish says:

    Wow! What a beautiful gift to receive! I think the gifts that tie us closer to our family and our heritage are more priceless than rubies. You are truly blessed!
    Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

  26. Sandy says:

    Yip! I’ve just been rolled from meal to meal and I don’t see it ending until after 1/1!
    I love the gift that you got – that is incredible and I’m sure you will pass those down to your children …
    Merry Christmas. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  27. Margie says:

    What an amazing gift! I teared up just reading about it because I too, miss my Grandma terribly! I am so sentimental. You can just imagine her print and touch (and DNA!!) on the placemats. And, the memories that will flood through your mind as you finish them – it will be like she is right there with you with each and every stitch. Seriously, can you think of a better gift? Can’t wait to hear how they turn out.
    Happy New Year!

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