The Greatest Gift – Holiday Reflections

By Dec 16, 2011January 30th, 201542 Comments

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It’s our last post in our Holiday Reflections series today, and SITStah Nichole does not disappoint. If you missed our first two posts in this series, we recommend heading back and checking out Remembering the Magic and The Memory Book. Today, Nichole writes about a very special Christmas list from her childhood that still holds great meaning today.


When a piece of paper if folded and unfolded time and again, it takes on a smooth, almost fabric-like quality. The creases soften and the paper seems as though it has always been folded.

When a piece of paper is held in the hands of a mother whose greatest dream is of giving her children a Christmas unlike anything she ever experienced, the paper holds magic.

My earliest memories of Christmas are of my mother, sitting at the dining room table, with a pen and paper in hand, making her Christmas list, each stroke of the pen bringing her closer to Christmas morning.

At the first sight of me, she would carefully refold her Christmas list and securely tuck it into the zippered inner pocket of her purse.

There were times during my childhood when we truly struggled to get by.  But, somehow, despite our lack of money, my mother worked magic at Christmastime and we never went without gifts from our wish list.

But, while I have clear memories of many those perfectly wrapped and long-hoped-for presents, my mother’s careful list became one of the greatest Christmas gifts of my childhood, as it held more meaning than any toy ever could.

For us, her children, it contributed to our sense of anticipation and the magic of the holidays. That list was proof to us that Christmas morning was drawing near.

For her, the list held hope.

It held her dreams of Christmas morning.

It held the wishes of a woman who, as a child of a large family of little means, asked for a doll and got shoes.

Of a mother who saved every spare penny she had throughout the year so that she could experience her children’s joy on Christmas.

The list was less about checking things off and more about adding things.

That piece of paper, with my mother’s precise handwriting, is the gift that will stay with me for always. I asked her recently if she still keeps her list and she assured me that she does.

That knowledge is a gift in and of itself.

(Thank you for that, Mom. I love you as high as the sky…)

All of us here at SITS hope you have a holiday filled with magic, wonder and many blessings.

About the Author

Nichole is a work-at-home mom to Katie, 4, and Matthew, 2. She blogs at in these small moments and writes about young children on Babble’s Kid Scoop. Though she loves being a mother to two small children, she truly looks forward to a well-deserved glass of cabernet at the end of the day.

About Alina Thomas

Alina is a Northern Virginia wedding photographer based out of Leesburg, VA. She has a passion for arts and design, and strives to express it through her work. She is creative at heart and loves nothing more than sharing her knowledge in photography with other Virginia wedding photographers on her blog each week. Alina loves being a new mom to her first-born and spending time with her husband who helps her run her businesses. Please feel free to follow her on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google+.