Friday, June 5, 2009

The best gift

What is the best gift you could give?
When I was younger I thought the more expensive a gift, the better.
In the beginning I loved dolls and cars; growing up it was the time of clothes and jewelry...
Then I grew up a little more, and realized that all those things weren't really important. What was starting to really be important, was time.
Time spent with my family, my friends.
Time I wish I could enjoy again talking with my dad, whom I lost when I was 13...
Time traveling and making new discoveries.
Time making memories.
Time preserving those memories.

My husband wanted to get me a diamond ring for our engagement. You might think I am weird, but my answer was:" And what would I do with it? Wouldn't a simple much less expensive ring still be a good memento of the day you asked me to marry you?
How about we save that money for future travels? For family needs?"
It took him a lot to understand that I really didn't desire a diamond ring, but then he appreciated the fact that we went 5 different places for our honey moon: Florida, Utah, Italy, Switzerland and England and that now we have a book preserving those memories.A diamond ring could only be passed on to one of our children. I can make copies of the book I made, and all my children will be able to enjoy it and share it with their children.
If they desire, the will be able to make more copies for each of their children so they will know their grandparents' love story.
I get my children's toys at garage sales. They will get broken anyway. The real gifts from me to them are the books I make about them, the playing cards with their pictures, the family folds, the genealogy posters I created.
While right now toys might be their first desire since they are so little, I know that when they will be grown up, they will really treasure these books and other projects I have taken the time to create for them.
I do have a couple dolls, and some jewelry pieces from my mom and my grandma and I do treasure them, but they tell me very little about the persons that gave them to me.
The Storybooks I create for my children and for all my other family members and friends, tell them that they are special to me, that they mean a lot, that they are worth the time I took to make something for them, to preserve a special memory.
These projects will remind them of me, of who I am when I am too old or I am not here anymore.
One of the last books I created was my son's VPK book. It has pictures of him, his friends, his teachers, and a collection of many of his favorite things.
I have no memory of my pre-k years(we call it asilo in Italy) except for a couple of flash backs that I can't tell if they are a dream of the reality. I don't remember any of the friends I had or what I liked to do there. My son will be able to look at the book and know that his memories are not dreams and remember all of his friends and favorite things.
How much I wish my parents could have done something like this for me, but there was nothing like Heritage Makers 30 years ago!

So, don't waste your time looking for expensive gifts that could end up in a future garage sale or that just aren't able to really say a lot about you.
Take time to tell the stories in your home.
Take time to help your child understand his/her self worth, to improve his/her self esteem, make a book about him or her , about his/her family history.
Take time to read these books with your children at night time or any other time during the day.
Time is the best gift you can give, and you will see that as time goes by, all the other material things lose importance and value while time with the memories related to it becomes the most precious thing of all!

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