That One Gift

I’ve finished the bulk of my Christmas shopping.  Everything that needed to be shipped is on its way.

I have a handful of gifts for Craig and the kids that I have yet to purchase, but other than that, I am done.

But this year, what I bought isn’t what I’m thinking of.

What stands out most in my mind is the one gift that I didn’t buy.

The gift that I would have bought for Craig’s mother.

This is the first year that we will celebrate the holidays without her.

One of my favorite memories of her was on Christmas two years ago, right after we lost our baby. I felt broken.  She and I sat at our dining room table for hours.  She soothed and comforted me where necessary, distracted me when she could see that was what I needed most.  She told me stories that made me laugh and stories that allowed me to cry.

That conversation was the best gift that she could have given me.  Somehow, she knew what I needed most.

There’s a part of me that wants to buy a small gift for her and place it under our tree.  Perhaps that could be one of our family traditions…to always place a gift under our tree in remembrance of her.

This post is linked with Stream of Consciousness Sunday at All Things Fadra…


  1. Maybe a "Giving Tree" gift every year in her name?

    And love to you and Craig this first year without her.

    So hard.

    Much love.

  2. SquashedMom

    OK, you made me cry again.

    I like Lori's suggestion. Instead of a gift FOR her, a gift FROM her for someone in need, and a note about it under the tree? Or maybe an ornament that reminds you especially of her to add to your tree every year, and call those the "grandma ornaments."

    The one good thing about my health troubles… it's taking my mind off missing my father and dwelling on last year's dreadful December.

    Love to you all in this both hard and good time.

  3. Carolyn

    Love the idea of remembering her with a gift. What about writing her a letter each year telling her about your daughter. My husband's mother died when he was a teenager and I never had the opportunity to meet her. From what people tell me, we would have gotten along great. She was lots of fun and would have been a wonderful MIL. I wish I had memories like you have.

  4. C.Mom

    Love the idea of a gift from her to someone in need….and in general, what a gift you are giving to her—in her memory.

  5. andygirl

    I think that's a lovely idea. we lost my Aunt Paula when I was a child. but her birthday had been close to Christmas, so every year after we decorated the Christmas tree on her birthday. I think little remembrances of those you love can be very special.

  6. Fadra

    That got me. Tears in my eyes. I love the idea of remembering her in a special way every year at Christmas. Maybe think of something that was close to her heart and donate in her name. Or buy a special ornament. Or make a time capsule and write a letter to her every year. It would be a great way to make sure your family remembers every holiday.

  7. Alicia

    Ok, now I am crying again. That is a really beautiful way to remember your mother in law. I lost my dear grandpa the day after Christmas 10 years ago this year. It is very hard for me because he was more of a dad to me than a grandpa and he was so young. Maybe I will leave a gift for him this year.
    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Nichole.

  8. ksluiter

    first Christmas's without someone are hard. As are all the Christmas's without that person. Each year I make cream puffs for Christmas because that is what my FIL always requested. Almost no one eats them. But I make them anyway. Because it's part of what Christmas was with him.

    Nichole, I hope you can smile about your MIL this Christmas. And have all her love flowing through your family.

    Much love to you.

  9. sherrikuhn

    Oh, this touched me…but then, you always do. Those first holidays without our loved ones are so hard, and maybe there is a way you can come up with a tradition that honors and remembers her and carry that forward.

    Hugs to you…

  10. @2old2tap

    You'll think of the right thing to do. Remember her with smiles and favorite memories.
    My father died 6 years ago December 20th. And my mother just passed this summer. This will be our first Christmas without a parent. My family has always gathered at the family home. The home I live in now. I will be hosting Christmas this year. We will talk about Christmas past I'm sure.

  11. Tim

    Hit me right in the heart. So sorry that you and Craig will have to experience this Christmas without Craig's mother. It looks like she passed on a lot of wisdom to you both. Honoring her in a way that you feel is right seems like a good idea.

  12. big hugs. cannot imagine how hard that must be. she sounds like an amazing person.

  13. @MyPixieBlog

    I love the idea of a giving tree and think this would be a beautiful way of honoring her. This is a great reminder that we should always treasure the moments we have together. She sounds like she was a remarkable woman.

    Wishing you peace this holiday season.

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