Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas Presents.

Do you collect presents as and when you see them throughout the year, carefully hiding them in a drawer until it is time to wrap them? Or do you make a list in early December of possible presents and then go searching? Or do you wait until the last minute, push out into the crowd and desperately search for something special?
And what about receiving presents? If they come early do you put them straight under the tree and leave them until Christmas morning? Or do you sniff them, shake them, feel them all over until you think you have guessed what they are? Or do you sneak them open early because you can't wait? (yes, G, if you are reading this, I mean YOU)
The giving and receiving of presents is such a lovely tradition and we all treat it in a different way. I like to start about mid November and collect presents as and when I see them. I keep a list and cross them off as I buy them. And when I receive a present I put it under the tree and wait for Christmas morning.
So here are a few questions for you to think about:'

What is the best present you have ever received? You know, and I know, that it has absolutely nothing to do with monetary value and everything to do with how much care the giver has given to choosing it, or making it.
What is the best present you have ever given? And the same rules apply.
Will you keep all your presents for Christmas morning?
Do you leave food out for Santa and his reindeer? If so - what.
Here are my answers:
The best present I have ever received is probably the first present the farmer ever bought for me. It is a slender gold bracelet and I love it dearly.
I think the best present I have ever given - and by that I mean the one that was the most successful as far as the recipients were concerned - was when I gave my son and his wife an etching last year by a local etcher - Piers Browne. It was totally unexpected on their part and luckily they absolutely loved it. When this happens it is such a joy.
My presents - and the farmers - will sit under the tree on Christmas morning until all the chores are done, the dinner is on cooking and there is a cheery log fire in the grate. Then we shall open them one by one, taking it in turn.
The tradition here is to leave out a mince pie for Santa. As for the reindeer - they have very efficient noses, so if they are hungry they can smell out the hay in the hat barn. That'tt give the farm cats a nasty shock!


jinksy said...

The best present I've ever been given, was my grownup daughter saying she never remembered being bored as a child, 'cos I always came up with the goods! And the best present I've given? Why, 'My last Rolo', parcelled up daintily, which I gave to the love of my life!

Dubois said...

How many farmers do you give presents to?

Cloudia said...

The gift of being together.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Heather said...

The best present I gave, apparently, was a box of nonsensical items posted to our son on active duty in Northern Ireland years ago. He had asked us not to send anything of value.
The best present received was having him home in early March the following year for a belated Christmas.
Yes - we keep our presents until Christmas morning.
We used to put out a mince pie and glass of sherry for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer, but no longer do that.

Poet in Residence said...

In childhood I was thrilled to discover Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island and a knobbly sock of nuts and an orange at the foot of the bed.

Best present I ever gave? I'd say time,tea and sympathy. But I think it's a difficult question to answer.

In adulthood the grateful smile and thanks in an old man's eyes on receiving an unexpected coin or two is one of the best presents I have received.

Robin Mac said...

That really made me think - probably one of the most memorable presents I received was a watch from my Godparents when I was about 11 - totally unexpected and I treasured it for years, long after it stopped working. The best present I have given - that is a tough one, possibly a large appliqued and embroidered wallhanging for my sister which she has framed and has hanging on her bedroom wall. I try to wrap my presents on the day I make the Christmas pudding - that is today. Our presents definitely go under the tree till Christmas day, but we open them first thing before we have breakfast - none of this hanging around till the middle of the morning or later! Living in a hot country we always left a bottle of beer for santa and a carrot for the reindeer, but like Heather, we don't bother anymore unless the grandchildren are staying in the house. I agree that it is not the value of presents which makes you cherish them, but the loving thought behind them. Cheers, Robin

Penny said...

I dont think I can remember the best present I received except perhaps our first daughter who was born on John's birthday, the 21st so not quite a Christmas baby. Hard to say what the best I have given but my sister has a tree she puts up every year full of the small, tiny, bears I make for her, she had to make do with a bauble this year as I find the tiny bears difficult to sew.
we used to put out beer and biscuits for Father Christmas I am afraid we felt the reindeer were to busy and probably munched a snack from the trees on the go. We dont do that any more.
We open our presents as we always have, as soon as we wake up, a hang over from 4 children all clamouring at the door on Christmas morning. As I get so few these days, and they come at odd moments what we have goes over to the Island with us. Our present to each other is the week on the Island celebrating his birthday and Christmas delightfully on our own!

jeannette stgermain said...

I sometimes even start in Sept. with collecting gifts (when there are sales).
One of my best Christmas present was very inexpensive, but it was a holder for all my crochet and cable hooks that I kept losing -no more stress:)

Granny Sue said...

I'm a year-round shopper, picking up things in antique stores and flea markets and putting them away til Christmas--then I try to remember what was for who and where I put it all!

The best gift I ever received was 4 tons of gravel. Don't laugh-my parking place was so muddy, and that gravel was as perfect a gift as a woman could get. The next best was baby chicks. I needed to start a new flock but I had to wait til February for my babies. Next was the lovely smoky topaz ring my oldest son gave me about 10 years ago. I wear it often and always think of him.

Nowadays my husband and I buy few if any gifts for each other. We have so much already. This year we're going to a dinner theatre and a Celtic Christmas celebration instead. No wrapping paper, and no need to figure out where to put it later.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

There are so many ways to embrace the gift-giving of Christmas. Ours is more of a secular Christmas than a religious one, and we use whatever traditions we enjoy as a means to enjoy time together as a family. For us, that is the be all and end all - togetherness, connection, love.

Pondside said...

The best present? probably a pound of coffee from my then-ten-year old son, bought with his savings. It's special because he'd noticed that I enjoyed coffee.
Best present given? A picnic basket the year my dad was in hospital over Christmas - complete with a little wooden ant.
We open our gifts early on Christmas morning, but will wearing the pj's that we opened on Christmas Eve.

Santa gets milk, sugar cookies and some carrots for the rheindeer.

thousandflower said...

Let's see, i st art shopping in the summer in terms of picking up things here and there for various people. In November I make an a ctruallist of people i stillneed to get things for and start looking. I do a lot of shopping on line,, formerly through catalogues so need to get my orders in early. My father, on the other hand, always shopped after dinner on Christmas Eve. I think having fewer things in the store made shopping easier for him. One year we all got flashlights. I'm not sure what my Mom thought but my sister and thought that was about one of the vest presents ever.

We put all presents under the tree and open them Christmas morning.

We leave milk and cookies and carrots out for Santa and reindeer.

BT said...

What a lovely post Weaver, it made me smile. I try to buy from fairly early on, but rarely succeed. As I often make presents, I have to get them underway reasonably early or I don't get them finished.

One of the most successsful presents I have given was a rag rug for my daughter and her partners. It has adorned the back of their settee ever since and I knew she'd love it and she did! As for me, I one challenged my daughter to spend no more than £1 on me as she was very short of funds. It was amazing what she produced. I love hedgehogs and there was a hedgehog ruler and rubber, a large stuffed toy one (from a car boot) and I think some chocolate. It was amazing and she had thought so hard about it.

We always put our presents under the tree for Christmas morning.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Christmas presents are always saved until the day and for several years when we were overseas (and also in our guest house days) it could be Boxing Day before we opened them! It is usually in the evening. When I was little, a glass of sherry and a mince pie were always left out for Santa. We didn't seem to worry about the reindeer!

Golden West said...

My daughter paints a picture for me every year and that's always the best gift, and something I enjoy every single day.

The best gift given is hard... Probably taking the time to maintain and expand the traditions by baking, decorating and hosting family and friends.

acornmoon said...

I try to be organized but never quite succeed.

Nobody, but nobody is allowed to open any presents until Christmas morning and everyone is up and about, that is my rule and I am sticking to it, and woe betide anyone who sneaks a peek before then!

I can picture your cosy fireside in your Yorkshire farmhouse, what could be nicer?

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think we are all agreed that our best presents are not necessarily ones which have cost a lot of money - often no money at all and yet a "gift" that stays in the memory for ever.
Having read how much you all leave out for Santa he must be more than full of mince pies - no wonder he is bursting out of his clothes.