As I sat wrapping presents tonight, I was thinking about my mom and the way she wrapped presents for us when we were little.
I was trying to add just a bit of her style to my gifts tonight, but I know I am not even close to meeting her exceptional standards.
If the item was clothing and if it was wrapped in a box from the store, she would line the box with tissue paper first, and then the gift was placed inside. She folded over the tissue paper, surrounding the gift and then sealed the tissue paper closed with little festive holiday seals - yes seals, not stickers. They were the type you would have to lick to get them wet so they would adhere to the paper.
Then she would wrap up the box, surround it with curling ribbon, and then tie a bow from the curling ribbon. She would make tons of curls with the ribbon and the package would be almost finished.
Usually, she would also add a small gift to the top of the wrapped box, too. It might be a candy cane, or some other trinket to add more fun the the gift.
And if the gift were a 'soft' item like socks, she would do all the same steps for it, too, only adding the curls and ribbon to each end of the tube, making it look like a Christmas Cracker.
She filled our stockings with walnuts, treats, coloring books, small gifts, and of course, the traditional orange in the toe of the stocking. After all of the commotion of opening gifts under the tree, we knew we could count on our stockings to extend the thrill of the morning.
It is important to remember she worked in the 1950s when most moms were home all day with family. She worked at night, so she could be home with us during the day, and she must have been pretty tired. And with six children to shop for and each with a small pile of presents to wrap, she had her hands full, to be sure. But she wasn't a slacker when it came to wrapping - oh no!
She baked, too. Not just two types of cookies like I do, but whole plates of gorgeous cookies in all sorts of shapes and flavors.
I don't know how she did it with all the rest she had to do. I wish I could say I am keeping up with her legacy, but I don't hold a candle to the way she could multi-task - way before the term was invented. I hope though, that by sharing this, her legacy of love and care and attention to detail will live on. Long after what was in those gifts has been forgotten, I still remember the way she wrapped them with so much love for each one of us.
The light-up Santa was on our tree when I was a child. The angel on the moon was also on our tree - purchased in Toronto when I was a teenager, this one is a replica of the one I gave my mom and also bought for myself. My daughter has my original.I am wishing you all the same love and care this year for Christmas. I hope your memories are vast and that you are making more for your own family, to share for generations to come.