This Christmas I told my family that I wanted to downsize our Christmas. Dispense with most of the shopping mania and focus on personal, thought-filled gifts of love. No one really needed one more electronic gadget or more clothes to fill their closet. I wanted to both give and receive special gifts – gifts that would be meaningful both to the giver and the receiver. Gifts of emotion or gifts of time. Some of the examples I gave to spur their creativity included – write a poem or a story, take me to the movies and for coffee and conversation after, visit a vineyard or sit down with your Dad and let him teach you about wine. The precious gift of your time and focused attention is what this lonely empty-nest mother craves.
I had no idea if they would take the request to heart or not.
On Christmas morning, after most of the gifts were opened, Jake, who was sitting on the piano bench, said. “Wait, I have a gift for you, Mom.”
“I learned to play two songs for you.” Then he turned to the piano keys, and began to play. Jake has never taken piano lessons. He played baritone and trombone throughout high school and college, but never the piano. But here he was, playing. His offerings included the haunting piano solo introduction to Neyo’s “Mad”, and then “Don’t Stop Believing” from Journey.
How did you learn to do that? I asked. “YouTube” was his answer. YouTube and alot of practice. His father said, “He swore me to secrecy. He would practice each morning when you had left for the day.”
Ah, what a gift for me. Light and joy were in his smile and in my heart.
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask, and you shall receive.