Meet the Brides of Last Chance Ranch
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One pioneer woman wrote that the most meaningful Christmas gift she ever received was a rain parasol as it offered her protection. While most of us wouldn’t attach such sentiment to an umbrella, I’m sure we all have received a gift or gifts that stood out from all the rest. Here’re mine:
At age eight I received a most meaningful gift . . .
It was a big beautiful doll with blond hair and eyes that opened and shut. In an effort to get on Santa’s “good” list, I cleaned my room and did my chores. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, I even did everyone else’s chores. When I opened the box Christmas morning and saw two big blue eyes staring back at me, I was elated. I felt as if I could make every dream come true if I wanted it bad enough and was willing to work for it.
At eleven I received a most meaningful gift. . .
It was an angora sweater. A year earlier, I had received toys for Christmas, but I had finally “graduated” to clothes. Wearing that sweater made me feel so grown-up. More than that, the gift told me that others saw me as grown-up, too.
At seventeen I received a most meaningful gift . . . .
It was a heart-shaped necklace from my boyfriend. I believed at that moment that love would last forever. The chain snapped less than a week later and we broke up soon after, but I learned that some things are meant to last for only a short time and that we must enjoy them while we can.
In my twenties I received a most meaningful gift . . . .
Our oldest son was born just before Christmas. It was a gift that both elated and humbled me. This baby—this beautiful gift from God—was solely dependent on me and I wanted so much to be the perfect mother. But as I walked the floor that Christmas day trying to comfort a colicky baby, I realized the futility of that goal. I soon learned that no child ever said that his or her mother was perfect, only that she was the best.
In my thirties I received a most meaningful gift . . . .
The Christmas I most remember during that time was a bleak one. My husband’s company was on strike and we were down to our last fifty cents. As I filled our three children’s stockings with nuts and oranges, I dreaded the following morning when they would see how little Santa had left. Much to my surprise and delight not one of them complained. If anything they seemed to be more appreciative of the few gifts they did receive. That was the year I learned that sometimes less is more.
I received the most meaningful gift during our saddest year. . . .
Our oldest son died a few months before Christmas and I couldn’t even bring myself to put up a tree. I cried most of that day and I don’t remember what presents I received, but I do remember one important gift. For it was that year that I learned that we’re stronger than we think we are, and though we lose much with the death of a loved one we can’t possibly count all the blessings that remain.
I don’t know what gifts are in store for me this Christmas, but I do know this; the gifts that touch our hearts are the ones that stay with us the longest.
Now it’s your turn. What special, memorable or meaningful gift did you receive?
Speaking of gifts, the nine authors of A Pioneer Christmas put together a recipe booklet and we’re giving it away free. It’s our way of thanking our readers for making our book fly off the shelves! To download your free copy just click the Pioneer Christmas cover (I dare you to try the pigeon pie!). You might also want to take advantage of the special sale on A Bride For all Season featuring Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton and me!