“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa

how many of you were completely surprised by one of your gifts this Christmas?
I mean,
flat out had no idea of what was behind door number one?
When the children were young,
every gift was worth ripping the paper off as quickly as possible to see what was inside.
Of course,
just as quickly,
they were then on to the next gift to repeat the exciting ritual.

But alas, our children have grown,
and gift giving has lost much of the excitement 
because I usually end up asking what they need or want and purchase accordingly. 
The size or weight reveals its contents before any wrapping is removed.

as a gift giver,
the joy of giving is the excitement felt 
when finding (or making with your own hands)
 a special something for that special someone.

Even the packaging is part of the fun.
Ren Man thought he had camouflaged 'the editors' gift beyond detection 
as they arrived in the country for Christmas…
but the first words out of his mouth were…
"what happened to the barn?"

Sooner than later,
we all gathered around the barn 
where Ren Man provided a cord for each of them to pull…
revealing an exact replica…
of his new business cards,
created lovingly with the help of his grandparents.
For the past week, 
we had been staining, sanding, stenciling, and painting, 
and sanding and sealing…
sanding and sealing…
sanding and sealing.
Visions of the look on his face when received 
made all the sanding worth it.
I do not like sanding.
Sanding is my least favorite.

I have had 'the foodies' surprise gift awhile longer.
Giggles and butterflies felt while thinking about the look on her face… 
as she processed what was inside,
have entertained me since October.
Is that great or what?
Hers is now a room fit for a princess.

I hope this last Friday of 2013 finds your heart full of Christmas blessings 
as we count down to 2014.

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