Monday, November 28, 2011

The Gift Exchange

The Christmas day gift exchange with my family includes eleven people.  My family of four usually arrives first at my parents' home.  If the gifts aren't already organized, my daughter helps sort them and put them at each person's seat.  We then add the gifts that we brought to the individual piles.  Later, when my sister arrives with her family, they do the same.

For many years now, we have taken turns opening our gifts.  That becomes a pretty long afternoon for eleven people.  We go in order of youngest to oldest. So it goes:

Noah   Sam

Shelby   Tyler   Mike

Jill    Kevin    Sally   Nancy


and we start all over again...  Believe me, each person knows the line-up.  In particular, they know who opens a gifts before it's THEIR turn!  Well, you know, we like to keep things moving.

While we open gifts, Christmas dinner continues to cook, and at some point, my mom heads to the kitchen to "start the potatoes."  We usually slow the gift-opening so that she doesn't miss anything.

The exchange continues until every last gift is opened -- all except the stockings that is.  My mom has a stocking for everyone hung on the mantle.  All have been made (or embellished) by Mom herself. Each one is a treasure.  We save those for after dessert.  We all make our way back into the living room, into our original seats, and dig out little goodies that Mom has collected for us. There usually aren't any "pricey" gifts in the stockings -- though we've had a few surprises over the years.

I treasure this time together with family.  It is slow, and purposeful, and everyone gets a chance to see what everyone got, as well as what everyone gave.

I'm linking up with Heather for Life Made Lovely Monday.
What makes your life lovely?
Come join the fun!


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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one, and truly enjoy "conversations" with you! ~Sally

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