Besides my oldest daughter (Dec.19) and my youngest son (Nov. 30) being born in the Christmas season, the most meaningful gift was actually a gift to my middle daughter. This may be a long post so bare with me.
My father and mother would always buy a special Gorham porcelain doll for all of their granddaughters' first Christmas. I had been having a difficult pregnancy. I had been pregnant with twins, but I lost one of the twins. I had been in and out of the hospital with complications with my kidneys. We did not know what was going to happen. My father had cancer. The day I got out of the hospital from one of my kidney situations, he was admitted for one of his cancer treatments. I was 5 months pregnant. He never came back home. It was a very horrible time for me. We did not find out until the week after he died that I was having a girl. I always felt so bad that he was not going to know her and she was not going to know him. He didn't even know I was having a girl. Well, she was born with an underdeveloped digestive system, but God quickly and miraculously healed her. When Christmas came around, the store that my parents usually bought the dolls from had stopped selling them. The people that owned the store were friends of my parents so I went in one day and asked if they knew where we could get a doll. The lady owner told me it had been taken care of. I did not know what she was talking about. She said my Dad had taken care of it. I went and told my Mom, and she went to see what was going on. The lady took my Mom into her office and told her that my Father had come in the day before he got put in the hospital and had picked out a doll for my unborn daughter. She had been thinking about calling us, but just didn't know how. She was hoping Mom would come in. After my mother stopped crying, she told her to wrap it. She did not even look at the doll. She thought the whole family should see it together at the same time. It was the last gift from my Dad. Of course, I cried but I was a little happy, too. My Dad somehow knew I was having a girl. That Christmas we were all filled with different emotions. We were happy it was my daughter's first Christmas, but it was the first Christmas without my Father so we were sad too. Event though he wasn't there, he gave my daughter a gift and we were proud of that doll. The doll is beautiful. We have it in a glass cabinet. Everytime I look at it, I think about what it means to our family. My daughter is 16 now. She values that doll more than anything. Even though he never got to tell her verbally, she knows he loved her very much.