Tag Archives: giving

Unexpected Gifts: Our 12 Days of Christmas

It really was a flippant comment, one of those crazy, too-far-out-there ideas that you toss out simply because it seems so ridiculous that you would never do it. But for whatever reason, this one stuck.

Back in early December, Hennie and I were talking about how we might celebrate Christmas as a family this year. As we anticipated a busier than usual holiday season, we were tossing around ideas about how we could make our Christmas celebration into something more than simply giving gifts on one evening between a couple other commitments. More as a joke, I started singing “The 12 Days of Christmas” and suggested we could get all of our kids the traditional partridge in a pear tree. We laughed and then paused. There was something about that idea of extending our Christmas celebration over 12 days that stuck with both of us. Without hesitation, Hennie grabbed a notebook and started planning.  Continue reading

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Just some candy canes

They’ve started already. Actually, they’ve been arriving for quite a while already. We received our first “Holiday Gift” ad in the mail the first week of October – a full week before Canadian Thanksgiving. One local retailer had Christmas displays up the same week they put out their Halloween displays. And it has not been without effect: two of our kids took it upon themselves to pull our Christmas decorations out of storage and liven up their bedrooms with the seasonal decor. Twice now, another one of our kids has turned on a selection of our Christmas music. And in the interest of full confession, I have already purchased and (mostly) consumed the first 12-pack of candy canes. Continue reading

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Your Daughter’s Hand…

I remember making that nerve-racking phone call.

Me: “Mr. H., I have a question to ask you.”
Mr. H. “Hold on. I think Mrs. H. better be on the other phone for this one.” Mrs. H. picks up the other phone.
Me with trembling voice: “Okay. Mr. & Mrs. H., I would like to ask your permission to ask your daughter for her hand in marriage?” 
Mrs. H. “You only want her hand? What about the rest of her? Don’t you want all of her?” 

Yep. That was my (now) mother-in-law’s quick-witted response to my nervous fumbling over how to ask them for their blessing on our plans to get engaged and married. “Don’t you want all of her?”

How do you respond to that?! I am sure I stammered out some sort of response – though even now, I’m not sure that it was even halfway intelligible – and they graciously helped me finish the conversation and gave us their blessing.

My mother-in-law’s question “Don’t you want all of her?” has stuck with me. And though the context is somewhat different, I have found myself reflecting on it quite a bit lately.

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