All of my favorite gifts are my favorites due to a combination of practical and sentimental reasons.
My daughters have made me a number of beautiful presents over the years, but it’s difficult to choose my favorites among them, so I won’t list them here.
Nor have I included the gifts I received as a child.
Instead, I can think of four very special gifts I have received, from my college days up until the recent past, that stand out in my memory – for longevity, meaningfulness, and practicality. Two were given to me by my mother, and the other two were given to me by my husband.
The coffee cup featured in My Dear Daughters: When I Am Dead and Gone, Please Keep These Things.
This winter scarf, designed to cover head and neck. It’s a bit ratty from use by now, but I still use this scarf on the bitterest of cold winter days. This was another present given to me by my mother for Christmas during my college days. Nothing beats it for keeping my head and neck warm and the rust color is a good one for me. Mom had a “gift” for getting just the right thing.
Next among my most treasured gifts is this Byzantine three-bar cross. My husband bought this for me at our church for the Christmas right before the Feast of the Epiphany on which our family was baptized into the Byzantine Catholic Church. In addition to its other religious significance, it symbolizes the journey into faith that my husband and I took together.
Lest all these choices seem to fall more on the sentimental side than the practical, here is the fourth gift: my KitchenAid. Yes, a kitchen appliance. It has been used to bake so many Christmas, birthday, and other desserts; it is one of those household appliances that has earned a place of honor for its years of faithful service filling an important role in our family life: the means for concocting delicious culinary creations. Some women want furs or jewelry; I wanted a KitchenAid.
This is a repost of an article for last year's Advent Calendar. Those who read it last year may remember that I was waiting for my KitchenAid to be repaired and that meanwhile I was using a hand mixer. That is still the situation. We actually gave up on getting it repaired; the repairman could never get the part and apparently we will have to travel a good distance to the only known repairman in this area who might be able to do the necessary repairs. Perhaps we will get out to see the repairman, or perhaps a new KitchenAid will go on next year's Christmas list (along with a Flip-Pal mobile scanner).