Comfort and Joy

About the joy…

When I was growing up, my dad put the magic in our Christmas. Every year, he hunted down items on our list with great tenacity and stayed up all night assembling complicated toys in service of us having the best Christmas ever. He would troop us to a city park where an enormous manger scene with live animals was created on a baseball infield temporarily converted to a cave, making quite an impression on wide-eyed children. We would take evening drives through the Plaza to see the lights. If it was enchanting and joyful, he located it and shared it with us. No one enjoyed giving to others more than my dad. He was a lover of joy.

He was also intrigued by how things work and, to that end, spent many hours tinkering and creating and inventing because he had that kind of mind. He always marveled at what others would create whether it was art or simply a well-designed utility.

A few years ago, my husband surprised me with an IPad for Christmas. This is a photo of me on Christmas Day showing it to my dad—he was 80. I believe it captures the utter joy he felt at seeing an invention that pushed the envelope and illustrates his tremendous capacity to be awed.

image

And here is the comfort part…

When reading a favorite blog this holiday season, Privilege, I shared this family memory in response to Lisa’s post about family gift-giving traditions:

Our gift-giving traditions never revolved around a single item; each person had their own gifting signature, if you will. Which is how my siblings and I, in adulthood, came to treasure my dad’s gigantic gift bag of emergency-preparedness accoutrements every year. Oh, he’d give us all money, of course, but he’d also spend hours combing hardware stores to put together just the right mix of things each of us might need in case of a car breakdown on a single lane highway in the wilderness during a 10-day blizzard or a flat-out nuclear holocaust. Think Harrison Ford in Mosquito Coast. For all of our private eye-rolling, what do you suppose we missed most last Christmas, our first without him? Yep, the flashlights and blankets and jumper cables and cans of windshield de-icer.  😉

Wishing you all much comfort and great joy this holiday season!

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6 thoughts on “Comfort and Joy

  1. Merry Christmas! I’m late because of computer issues and illness, but finally back in business. 🙂

    Of course you and your family missed your dad’s gifts most of all. They were his gift of love to keep you safe against all oncoming enemies. He sounds like a wonderful father. I don’t have many father memories. Mine died when I was ten, and he was already old (72), and my stepfather was nothing to write home about, so I really appreciate wonderful father stories. 🙂

  2. Mary, great story of your father. Would love to share the one I had w him at the grocery store!! Let’s get together in January, okay!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • You are welcome. Thanks for writing such thoughtful posts that always make me want to leave comments. I thoroughly enjoy reading the comments of others there as well. I find that engaging in blog readership is often the inspiration for realizing I have an idea I’d like to capture in a post.

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