Sunday, November 8, 2009

Paper and Ribbon

My son is getting married in January. My house had been the designated location to receive gifts that will be mailed or shipped. I threaten to open them, shake them and listen for anything scratching or ticking. Not much for me to do, but I love being involved in this step into their new life.

It takes me back to 1969, when I was married. Gifts were delivered to the farm and at the wedding. We decided to open the gifts after we returned from our honeymoon in Florida. Mom had the ping pong table in the basement covered with packages. Family was invited to join us as we sat down to the task of paper and ribbon.

Gifts varied as much as the guests who were invited to the wedding. A touch of the 60's presented itself in color and design. Table cloths and handmade linens piled high. Champagne and ice buckets, silver plated serving pieces, Fostoria and Fenton glass, a set of antique Depression glass goblets, place mats and napkins, a crystal ash tray, a crystal vase, a variety of gifts filled the room. People bought what they could afford or choose one of their precious pieces wanting to give Willard and Ruth's daughter the best.

Each and every gift was a treasure. A few registered pieces were received, but most were gifts representing the relatives, church members, neighbors and friends. Our cabinets would be full and the linen closets bursting. People who had started their first homes with items they made or treasures handed down to them, gave gifts from their hearts.

Some of those gifts still reside in my home. Many wore out or were broken. Yet the memories are here of those eager to give those newlyweds a good start.

Giving of gifts seems mechanical now. We shop online or go to the registry to check off one more item. However, when my daughter was married, our dear neighbor, Margaret, gave her a vase that my mother had given her on her wedding day.

Those who gave gifts to us gave to me long before I was standing there on my wedding day. The true gift was the giver.

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