This time of year, many of us are frantically searching Amazon, shopping malls, and sales flyers and catalogues for the perfect gift that will delight our loved ones.
When I was a teen, I was hoping for the perfect gift for myself. My wish list always included fashionable clothes, items for my horse (tack, horse blankets, or a load of hay,) and books. And my mom and dad, even with their limited budget, always managed to get a few things that were just what I wanted.
My grandmother celebrated Christmas with us, too. She had been widowed young, and after the sale of their farm, she rejoined the workforce. She must have thought too many years had passed for her to teach again, and she took jobs as a live-in assistant for the elderly. She barely made enough to cover her own expenses, but she wanted to give each of her three children and ten grandchildren a gift. So, she bought plastic lacing and spent hours braiding it around wire coat hangers.
We knew every year exactly what we would get from Grandma. The only surprise was the variety of colors. I hope I was gracious when I received them, but I certainly can't say I was delighted.
My grandmother has been in Heaven for many years now, but I wish I could tell her how wonderful her gift was. I still have sixteen of these hangers. They never break, they hold clothes securely, and they take little room on the rod. For fifty-plus years, my dressy blouses and sweaters have not slid off or gotten creases from the hanger. How many gifts that you received as a teen are you still using?
I am now the grandmother myself, shopping for the perfect gift for seven grandchildren. Maybe I should just get some wire coat hangers and plastic lacing.
As you are unwrapping gifts, don't forget to say thanks for the most perfect gift of all - a Saviour, wrapped in swaddling clothes. A very blessed Christmas to you!
Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.