The only gift that matters.

:: me with Gan Gan and Grandaddy, Christmas 1975 ::

My maternal grandparents didn’t have a lot of money, but you’d never know that when looking at the slew of presents that sat under their tree at Christmas time.

I remember as a kid being so excited to drive to Norman for Christmas because I knew my Gan Gan and Grandaddy had probably bought me some really good stuff.  Plus, there was nothing better than playing with my cousin, Lori, and drinking spiced tea during the holidays.  Nothing.

My grandmother was crazy about all of us and she used Christmas as a time to visibly show us.  She showed her love all year round–scratching our backs, giving us lots of hugs and kisses, making us our favorite tunafish.  But Christmas was a time that she showed us her love with gifts.

I know from stories my mom would tell that my Gan Gan would travel up to Oklahoma City, just to go to the Toys ‘R’ Us to find me the Snoopy and Belle clothes that I had to have or the stuffed Care Bears that I was dying for.  She wanted all of us to get exactly what we wanted and would rush around to make sure that it happened.

The holidays were important to my grandmother.  There was always too much food and too many presents and it filled their home to the brim.  They lived in a tiny house and we would all cram into around Christmas, trying our best not to step on the presents or each other.  The house was bursting and being an only child, that was what I loved the most about it.  It was full of good smells, warmth, love and family.

If I could travel back in time, I would go back to my grandparents’ house during Christmas in a heartbeat.  I miss them so much this time of year, it makes me cry.  (I’m having some trouble even writing this.)

Which only helps me to remember what this holiday season is really all about.  The love of family.

That is the only gift that matters.


  1. Anonymous

    such a sweet and tender memory for you to share with all of us. Made me choke-up, kinda jealous I couldn't be there, playing with you and lori, too!

  2. Lori

    Wow…such sweet memories, Steph! :o) There was always lots of love, laughs and more food than anyone could eat and yet she was always concerned she wouldn't have enough, lol! :o) I also remember the matching PJ's she always got us (especially the “Jeanie” ones)! :o) They were always so thoughtful to make sure we had similar presents and ALWAYS the same amount, LOL! :o) I still have my Belle dog and some of the clothes. :o) Thanks for sharing this…Love You! :o)

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