Saturday, December 10, 2011

Advent Calendar - Gifts Given & Received

My Dad used to take all five of us children shopping for Christmas gifts for my Mother.  And, yes, he did it at the same time.  We each had $1 to spend.  Now, there is a 9 year age span, so we older children could help a little with the younger ones.  But we were all in the store together.  We went to J.C. Penney and Hinshaw’s in Arcadia, California.  Both of these stores were on Baldwin Avenue. 

Each of us children also bought gifts for each of our siblings.  That meant that Mother or Dad had to take us shopping so that we could each find four gifts.  Again, I believe we had a $1 limit for the gift.   Of course that meant that each of us children had 6 gifts to wrap:  one for each parent and one for each of our four siblings.  There were a lot of presents under the tree.  In many ways I think I was more excited about watching family members open the gifts that I bought than as in opening the gifts they bought me.  Christmas morning was exciting.

Christmas gifts from my parents were always clothes, or something very practical.  The gift from Santa was usually a toy or doll or something not as practical.  As children we usually opened the Santa gift before breakfast but all of the other gifts were opened after breakfast.

Now, we get our grandchildren a practical gift (something they can really use)  and a fun gift.  As practical gifts, one year we bought them new mattresses.  another time we bought each of them a suitcase to make it easier to pack when coming to visit us or their other grandparents. Another year we bought them new flannel sheets and last year they each received soft new bath towels.  This year they are getting extra warm, extra soft warm blankets.  It's amazing how many of these gifts are still being used.  And the grandchildren still remember that Walt and I gave them these gifts and how few of the "fun" gifts or toys are still around.