Friday, December 22, 2006

My Gifts for You . . .

It’s the Friday before Christmas . . . how unbelievable is that? I cannot believe it’s coming so soon! I got more accomplished yesterday, but I still feel like there’s so much left to do. But . . . what will get will get done. And the rest? It will just have to wait.

Yesterday, we did get SOME things accomplished. We: Emailed letters to Santa Claus (remember? Delaney told him she’d be sending him a note), addressed envelopes for my cards (people won’t be getting them until after Christmas), and worked on a scrapbook I’m giving as a gift (but it’s still not done). I also talked to Mom about a hundred times; she called me from inside several stores, asking if the girls would like certain things, what size they wore, etc. It was cute!

And yesterday Gary wrapped four more gifts for me. Yay!! I’m like a little kid—I get so excited about presents under the tree for me, and I shake them nightly. But, before you think I’m totally selfish and would rather receive than give, you have to realize that I’m VERY EASY to please! Anything makes me giddy with excitement; heck, I can open a pair of socks or a bottle of bubble bath and be very happy! It’s just the fun of seeing the prettily-wrapped presents, trying to guess what’s inside them, and then unwrapping the package to reveal the surprise waiting for me.

And I guess it still thrills me that I have people who love me enough to spend money and time on finding me such great gifts! I often call Gary the Anti-Guy, because he is a wonderful gift-giver. He has given me some of the best gifts over the years—everything from a Thomas Kinkade print called “McKenna’s Cottage” (because our daughter is named McKenna), to a DVD of “Somewhere in Time,” one of my favorite romantic movies (several years ago when it was very hard to find a lot of movies in DVD format!), to a hardback copy of an out-of-print Murder on the Orient Express (my favorite classic mystery novel!), to beautiful jewelry, to yummy pajamas, to really cool stemware (just because he knows how much I love martini and wine glasses!). And it has nothing to do with the money spent (we give each other a very low limit on what we can spend on each other)—it has everything to do with the energy spent on finding me such wonderful gifts and even more to do with the fact that I know Gary really hates to shop, but that he does it out of love for me!

But lest you think that I only enjoy getting gifts at Christmastime . . . I also LOVE giving gifts, and there is nothing like finding the gift that is just right for that certain person. Every year, there are certain people that we have to buy for—both of our parents, my brother and Gary’s sister (and their spouses), our four nieces and nephews, and our three grandmothers. We also have four Dirty Santa gifts we bring to one of our gatherings, and then we buy gifts for teachers and friends and a few aunts and uncles. And then, of course, are the girls! They take the biggest chunk of money and time! With each and every one of these individuals, it is a challenge sometimes to find that gift that will really put a big smile on their faces—but we are lucky in that we have friends and family members who genuinely seem happy to receive anything if it’s coming from a pure and giving heart. So, I have that to be thankful for on those Christmas Eve Eve.

This year, I am also blessed to have so many new friends via my blog. There are so many of you who have touched me in such a real way in such a short time. People like Amanda, and Maria, and Adrienne, and Beady, and Phats, and New Mom, and Telah, and Toya, and Jane, and Ronlalyn, and Dana, and Jenn, and Shannon, and Gareth . . .and on and on. (And then those of you that I’ve met in just the last week or so, but that I’m already feeling like I know. People like Aimee and Josie and Missy and Sue—boy, oh boy, I’m destined to forget someone’s name so why did I even start listing them? PLEASE forgive me for not mentioning you!! Each and every one of you, though, are so important to me!)

(In fact, I have to stop right here and go ahead and give my buddy Phats his special gift from me. He has bugged me about what I was getting him for at least a week (ha!!), so I can’t disappoint him. So Phats, I present you with Carrie Underwood and an Icee.

And don’t feel sorry for me—Phats has promised to give me a trip to the NCAA tournament for my Alabama basketball team. LOL)

If I could have each of you right here in my living room, sitting in front of my Christmas tree and enjoying the fireplace with me, I would give you a big pretty present wrapped with a glittering red bow.

On the inside would be so many things. Among them would be—peace, contentment, satisfaction, stability, encouragement, joy, laughter, and love. I would watch you open the present and then I would tell you how much you are appreciated and loved.

And then I would tell you that I am praying you will have a truly joyful Christmas filled with an understanding of what the season really means—that you will know that it really is all about a little Baby Boy who changed the world, but who also (and much more importantly) came to change your life. I would tell you that He loves you, and all He desires is to come to your fireplace and sit with you and talk with you and cry with you and know you like a friend. We sometimes make the season so busy and commercial and complicated that we forget that He is the reason for the season.

Have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Enjoy your friends and your family. Relish all that scrumptious food. Watch the faces of the little ones around you, as they tear into their gifts with such excitement. Remember those less fortunate than you are. And thank God for your blessings!

(I will be back either Sunday or Monday, when I will post the Christmas photo and letter I am sending out to my family and friends. You lucky blogging friends will probably actually see it and read it before any of them get theirs in the mail. LOL. Until then, have a wonderful holiday. I love you all!)


Phats said...

OMG I think I have died and gone to Icee Heaven! HAHA THANKS CHERYL made my evening FOR SURE! :)

I'll be back to wish ya a merry christmas myself, and I have been meeting with selection people already, that three seed is about a done deal.


Thanks again, mmmm carrie, mmm icee's

Missy's Blog said...

Cheryl ... you are the absolute sweetest! I so enjoyed reading about your gift giving and gift receiving. And how cute ... your gift to Phats was so sweet! We wish you and your family a very Merry, Merry Christmas!!

maria said...

Cheryl! What a beautiful post! I'm so humbled to read my name included. The feeling is totally mutual! I love ya! You are a true inspiration!

I loved how you desbribed your gift-giving traditions and I absolutely loved the special "pretty present wrapped with a glittering red bow" that you shared with all of us. I'll hold on to that one really tight! That's the best present of all!

~Telah said...

Great post, Cheryl! I really enjoyed the read. I wish you a very Merry Christmas as well!

adrienne said...

Tee hee, great entry! Now I want an icee! LOL

aimee said...

Cheryl, my new friend, you are so sweet and what a beautiful post that was.
Have a very Merry Christmas! It sounds like you already are...:)

Renee said...

Have a Merry Christmas, Cheryl!

Cheryl Wray said...

Phats--I'm SO glad you like your Christmas gift! I worked really hard to find them--had to fight mall traffic. It was crazy!!
Missy--I hope you and your family has a wonderful Christmas as well!
Maria--You are a doll!! Have a wonderful Christmas! Love ya too!
Telah--Have a great one!!!
Adrienne--They have Icees at the convenience store right down the road! We stop often to get them! LOL
Aimee--Thanks!! Have a blessed day!
Renee--YOu have a merry one too!!

Ms.L said...

Merry Christmas Cheryl!

Cinderella said...

Cheryl, this honestly made me cry. You are sooooo giving and sweet, not to mention caring. I am honored to know you. You are a remarkable human being. I am blessed to know you, that is coming from my heart.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, you deserve it. Lots of Hugs to you and your beautiful family!

I can't wait to share another year of blogging memories with you!

Merry Christmas hon!

Amanda said...

jHave a very merry christmas Cheryl!!! Glad we're blog buddies!

Carol said...

Such a wonderful message, Cheryl! I love hearing how you're doing and hope you have a merry Christmas!

angel said...

that was a very cool post cheryl! i can't believe its just two days to christmas... i still have so much to do!

Trudi said...

What a beautiful post!

I hope you and yours have a truly blessed Christmas!

Kathryn said...

What a wonderful and touching post, I am so glad that I found your blog and hope we continue our "blogging" friendship. You are a sweet and thoughtful person and I wish the best for you and your family in the coming year. Merry Christmas... my new found friend!

Anonymous said...

Hey girlie! Loved your post today. We must get together sometime soon!


Andi said...

Love your gifts to Phats!!! I'll be a Roll Tide fan too if you have any connections with Taylor Hicks!!! I'm a Soul Patrol fan. I had to open my new CD before Christmas so I could listen. We'll just have to keep it a secret from my Boss Dan and his wife. They're both Auburn grads!!!

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Cheryl Wray said...

Ms. L--Mery Christmas to you too!
Cinderella--You are so sweet!! If only you knew me in "real life." Ha! just kidding! I'm so glad to have met you too! Another year of fun to come!
Amanda--I hope you have a wonderful Christmas as well!
Carol--Thanks!! Merry Christmas to you!
Angel--I know!! I actually went shoppng again today, but i'm ALL DONE now!! Hurray!
Trudi--Thanks! Merry Christmas to you!
Kathryn--Hello Friend!! Merry Christmas!!
Ang--Yes, we need to get together SOON!! As soon as the holidays are over!!
Andi--We all rooted for Taylor here, of course!! One of my daughter's friends is his cousin, and we have a lot of people around here who were Taylor fans way before American Idol! Roll Tide!!

Susie Q said...

Such a sweet and warm post dear Cheryl. But then, you are a sweet and warm lady!
I wish you a very merry you and to your family. Enjoy the magic of the season and the love of your family.
You are one of my year's gifts...a new blogging buddy. Thanks for that!
Blessings for 2007!