As a mother of six and grandmother of nine, like many of you, I start thinking about holiday shopping at this time of year. Thankfully (I guess), technology has made it possible for the older kids to send Nanny a link to make the process easier. Times have changed as the requests involve “in demand” high-tech items. Even ordering these gadgets in early fall doesn’t ensure they’ll arrive in time for the holidays.
The current “supply chain” crisis has me thinking about my own Christmases past and simpler times…
Things have certainly changed. One of my best memories was not from the gift I got, but the story I heard about it years later. My sister and I found the most wonderful teddy bear (one for each of us) under the tree that year. They were bigger and a little shaggier than the ones we had seen before, but I LOVED Bessy, as she was eventually named. I slept with her every night until her face was lopsided from being my pillow. Then one day, my Aunt Giggy told me how that year Mom and Dad were struggling, and the money for gifts just wasn’t there. On their weekly trip to the town dump, my mom spied a box with some discarded womens’ coats. Though the outside of the coats were moth-eaten, the fur linings were intact. My mother made those wonderful teddy bears from those liners and finished up with the buttons for the eyes. Hearing this example of love and ingenuity was the best gift of all.
Maybe this year, with all the uncertainty around delivery dates, it is a good time to give the gift of remembrance that will deliver memories for years to come to those on our shopping lists.
A wreath placed in honor of a family, or even a child, is an opportunity not only to remember someone who served but to teach history in a way that becomes very personal.
I learned from my mother’s present years ago that the lesson and story behind the gift can be more meaningful than the gift itself. In the same way, laying a veteran’s wreath is not only a gift of remembrance but an opportunity to teach and share stories of service and sacrifice.
Taking young people to the gravesite of a veteran and saying their name is something that will stay with them forever. I know my husband Morrill – WAA’s founder – first visited Arlington National Cemetery at the age of 12, and he never forgot.
To sponsor a wreath and give the gift of remembrance this year, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
This story was written by Karen Worcester, co-founder and volunteer Executive Director for Wreaths Across America.Read comments