A few posts down, I participated in a meme that I turned into a Christmas one and in that meme, I mentioned the gift that my husband bought me years ago. It was a Nikon SLR camera that I fell madly in love with.
You've probably seen those car ads on TV where the small child inside of you reminds you of your most favorite gift ever, then suddenly the child is now an adult, and there is a brand new car in their driveway. And they realize that this is now the Best Gift Ever.
This Friday, I was given a gift at school that blew the Nikon out of the water, and I just had the burning desire to share it with you.
I can't share everything about it, because it's rather personal, but please let me try.
It's a bit of a tradition at our school, as it is at most, I expect, to give teachers and staff sweet little presents from the parents and students. I exchange gifts at school, as well, with a few teachers and my co-worker extraordinnaire, Bonnie. This year is a bit sparse for me in the giving department, but I managed to come through and am always happy to see the look on my friends faces as they open their little presents.
That's the best part, isn't it?
And then my friend, the art teacher, came into the office with a present for me. You remember her, right? The one I went to NYC with a couple of weekends ago? The one I've been friends with since the day I started at the school ten years ago? She and her husband are also the ones who arranged that visit for my son with their architect friend to spend a day working with him at his firm.
She looked really excited when she came into the office. And she had a big, beautiful box. "Open it!" she said. What a beautiful box it was that she handed me! I put it on the counter, admiring it while I slowly pulled up the flap. Inside I found a small flat package wrapped in gold tissue paper and tied with a beautiful red ribbon. "Open it!" she said excitedly. I pulled the ribbon off the package and saw that inside of it were white cards, all handwritten. I looked at my friend.
She told me she'd seen this idea on Oprah, and that on each card a faculty or staff member had answered questions like "What I love about you", "My wish for you this holiday is" . . .
When I realized that this box was full of these precious cards, the emotion overcame me and I began to cry. Cry and laugh at the same time! "No, no, don't cry!!" my friend said. "Here, here is one that's funny . . . read it, ok?"
So through my tear-filled eyes and the damn Dior mascara that runs every time I tear up (I have got to go back to Lancome, honestly) I read what our friend Diane, our gym teacher, wrote when she answered the question,
"What I Love About You" . . .
is you really know how to dance! Oh, wait a minute, that's what I LIKE about you, by the Romantics! But what I love about you is how you stay calm in any storm that comes your way. You are a rock for so many people! Happy Holidays!"
I couldn't read any more, I guess because I was so surprised. Margie went on to tell me that all she did was organize it, hand out the cards, and then ask for them back. Her husband, Charles, went out and found the fantastic box, and the faculty did the rest.
I was planning on going home Friday night, pour a glass of wine, and then read them. And I did pour that wine, and I did begin to read. But I couldn't after the first one. I don't know if I was embarassed, or maybe I felt that I didn't deserve all this love and kindness that was in this box. I just don't know!!!
So the box had been sitting on the bookshelf all weekend. Every now and then, I would walk by and touch it. It's a precious thing, you see. And this morning, with my husband's coffee in my little holiday mug, and a fresh-baked cookie made by him, too . . . I opened the box.
I read twelve of them until I couldn't do it any longer.
I had no idea that this is what people thought of me. And, at the risk of sounding so sappy that my sister-in-law's eyes will roll like they've never rolled before, I will tell you this:
I have only read twelve of them. And my heart is so full that I've decided to take it slow with this box. I had to stop after I read Cheryl's and I will share this one with you. Cheryl is one of our Lower School librarians.
What I love about you . . .
besides your great hair, I love many things about you! You are very capable in everything that you do. That's a great quality. I love how you appreciate the little things in life & I love your humor. But most of all, I love your kindness. You have blessed me and my child with it over the years. You are a blessing to everyone in your life. Thank you! Love, Cheryl.
Oh. My. God. I may not make it through the day through my tears and my appreciation.
Margie, I don't know how to thank you for organizing this gift. It is such a wonderful idea. And to those of you out there, this isn't a gift that can just be given at Christmas. This Gratitude Box or Memory Box is something you can do any time. For more information on the gift and to download the templates for the cards, please visit this site.
If you know someone in your life who is having some trouble and who needs to be reminded how much they are loved, then I strongly suggest giving this gift as a group effort.
I didn't know how much I needed the thoughts until I opened this . . . my new Favorite Gift Ever.
Until tomorrow, my friends . . .