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...jen o'connor's...Artful Adventures & Daily Inspirations

I Love Art, Adore the Handmade and Treasure the Vintage. I am the Fun Mom, the Silly Friend and the Writer who wants to make more room for beauty in the everyday.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

...gifts are a funny thing.


Gifts are a funny thing. They say the best are those we want to keep ourselves, but in the case of my personal taste the recipient might not feel quite the same way. I would argue on the side of sentimentality, that the best gifts are those that have some value beyond the object itself. Indeed, to me the perfect gift can be some odd, valueless thing...

Maybe it is a reminder of a moment, some token of a day well spent, maybe it can be something castoff by another, it can be used, old, new, an object from nature (in fact, one of my fave gifts ever is the empty wasps' nest in the above photo...I know...odd...but hubby knew I would love it.)

So, this concept of deciding what value is, and thus what makes a wonderful gift...is a tough concept to offer up to many, especially a kid. On top of that, two of my three children have birthdays so close to Christmas that the haze of festivities for one kid's special day blurs into the other, much less the tinsel and lights. Try as we might, it's tough to keep them distinct celebrations.

So I reach for the odd gift. I try to give something really different to each of my kids on their birthdays to mark the day...and I hope that they understand the depth of sentiment attached to the token of my affection.

This year Charlotte, an avid reader, scored a funky "reading chair" for her 8th birthday.

Here it is as we found it...me and Kath, Robin and Denny went AWOL and ran down to Lafayette for pie and a few hours of junk hunting. In this little shop filled to the brim with the old and dusty, was this chair...puke green...or acid yellow, depending on your opinion...strutting its overstuffed and unloved self in a maze of glass wear and heavy mahogany.


We nabbed it for a true bargain of a price -- the shop attendant commenting on its homely nature and how long it had been there. I suppose it was waiting for me.

And then, it was waiting in her room when she arrived home from school that day. I told her she would remember her 8th birthday even when she was an old lady, and that she would have her chair forever; it would become more special with each book she reads in its arms.

She gets it. The whole kit and kaboodle, and she loves her gift. And I love her all the more for it. Happy Birthday dear one.


I am reminded, the greatest gifts are those that help us find something beautiful in the everyday, and give us the chance to make a good memory.

xxoo Jen
Earth Angels

10 comments:

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Beautiful post. I am sure she gets it...and will love her reading chair and her wise and wonderful Mom forever.

Michelle C said...

Love it! What a wonderful gift and a wonderful way of framing it for her life. Happy Birthday to Charlotte from all of us. And you my friend, are a great Mom. Plus, I'm totally jealous - I love that chair! I vote for calling it yellow, since it is my favorite color :)

LizlovesVintage said...

Jen,
Words spoken are so true! I'm a giver, and hunt for that special gift. It's getting harder now, since my kids are older.Oh, well. It makes you warm and fuzzy inside. Doesn't it?Hugs, Liz

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

Jen, what a beautiful gift for your daughter. I love the idea of her sitting in it when she is an old lady, and telling her grandkids how her momma bought it for her when she was only 8. A chair to read and dream in. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

Jen your words are so lovely and true. Sal xx

Thea said...

Jen, you are a gift to all of us who know and love you. You always go straight to the heart of the matter. Charlotte and Aidan and Rory are so lucky to have you as their mom! Can't believe Charlotte is 8! I remember those December nights you took me in right before she was born!

dogfaeriex5 said...

what an awesome gift and she will remember and have it forever..you rock mom!

honstuff said...

What a sweet post. I don't think that chair is ugly at all. I really love it and I love that sweet little girl laying in it enjoying her read. How lucky are the both of you!

Anonymous said...

Just perfect as allways!@! Elma

Heather said...

What a heart felt post! Thanks for sharing that. I love that she gets it! Really lovely story.

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