Friday, December 24, 2010

A Gift Heavenly

Happy Birthday dear Jesus
You came here to free us
An innocent child
Pure and undefiled
How can we repay
What He accomplished that day?
That innocent child
Became so reviled
And, nailed to the tree,
He gave you and me
A gift heavenly
For eternity

Thank you, Jesus.  I love You.

Merry Christmas, from my shoebox!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Sweetest Gift Redux

After my last post about not remembering any childhood Christmas presents, I was bewildered.  How could I not remember even one gift?  Could my memory be that weak?

So I thought long and hard.  I thought and thought.  I tried to replay all the Christmases of the first decade or so of my life in my mind, attempting to envision my surprised face when opening gifts and following my eyes to what that gift might be.

And suddenly it hit me:  Madame Alexander!

Madame Beatrice Alexander founded the Alexander Doll Company in 1923 and was the first to create dolls based on licensed characters, as well as dolls with “sleepy” eyes (eyes that open and close).  Madame Alexander dolls are coveted by children and collectors alike to this day.

And one long ago Christmas in New Jersey, a young Silva received a Madame Alexander doll from her mother.

The doll’s name was Elise, and she was a ballerina.  About 18 inches long, she had dark hair pulled back in a bun.  She had dark brown eyes and the perfect pink lips.  She wore a pink tutu, tights, and ballet slippers.  She was exquisite!

I immediately knew she was extraordinary.  Although I was never really into dolls or Barbies, Elise was special.  She sat on my dresser for many years.  (I still have her somewhere in the house.)

Her beauty and value made me feel that I was beautiful and valuable to my mother.  My mom always made me feel that way anyway – every day of my life.  But that she would entrust me with something so clearly expensive and important made me feel extra special.

I guess it still isn’t about the actual gift now, is it?

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Sweetest Gift

Today I tried to remember the best Christmas present I ever received as a child.  It was a simpler time, and we definitely weren’t spoiled, but we got our fair share of gifts.

I thought and thought and I honestly could not remember not only my favorite Christmas present, but ANY Christmas present!

When I think about Christmases from my childhood, what I remember are the big family get-togethers.  We always celebrated on Christmas Eve.  We would either be with my father’s side of the family in Boston (about 25 of us then) or my mother’s side in New Jersey (about 17 of us then).  There would be commotion, laughter, lots of running around, and delicious food.  We would eat and play and sing and dance and wait impatiently until midnight to tear into the huge pile of gifts under the tree.

I remember making up skits with my cousins and performing them for the adults.

I remember one cousin in New Jersey screaming and jumping for joy when she unwrapped a  Menudo record!

I remember one of the older cousins would always dress up as Santa and we would sing for him before getting our presents.

I remember the hugs and love and warmth and peace and safety I felt being with my family and our extended family.

These sweet memories stand out more than any game or toy or clothing item I ever received.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.