my true love gave to me
The greatest gift of all - her love.
1) What were your favorite gifts, both to give and to receive?
I'm guessing at the date, but on about this date in 1969 I realized just how much Linda loved me and that I really loved her also. We had known each other for almost two years, but had been seriously dating only four months. As we made plans for Christmas with our respective families (mine in San Diego, hers in San Francisco), we talked openly about how much we meant to each other. I don't remember the physical gift we gave to each other at Christmas 1969, but I do know we gave each other a gift of commitment and happiness. The proposal was yet to come on Valentine's Day in 1970 (see, I was Mr. Romantic before I started doing genealogy), but this was the happiest Christmas of my life even though we were apart on December 25.
As a child, the best Christmas of all was 1954, when my brother Stan and I got our Davy Crockett coonskin caps and our Daisy BB guns for Christmas. Next best was 1955, when we got our Flexible Flyers, and the next best was 1956 when we got new bicycles. With the Flexies and bikes, we could roam all over San Diego and deliver our paper route on wheels - they meant freedom. We had had older bikes before this, but these were new with balloon tires and better brakes (still braking with the pedals, though).
Nowadays, I can count on receiving something electronic (I'm hoping for a Netbook) and photographs of the grandchildren from my daughters and their families, some Hawaiian shirts and HP ink cartridges from Linda, and I usually treat myself to some genealogy books after the holiday. I usually get Linda some clothing - usually colorful (aqua, green, blue, red, purple) tops, gift certificates and perhaps a promise of a cruise or vacation.
My daughters provide hints for gifts for the grandchildren which makes it pretty easy to shop online for them.
2) Are there specific gift-giving traditions among your family or ancestors?
I don't recall any gift-giving traditions for my family, nor do I know anything about traditions from the ancestors, and we don't have any for our daughters and their families.
This post will be part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" carnival - organized by Thomas MacEntee at the Geneabloggers blog. Please go to Thomas' blog and read the submissions for each day.