My dad loved Christmas! He loved shopping and decorating, but mostly he loved giving gifts.
Each year he would put up a twelve-foot tall tree in the living room. It was covered with tinsel, twinkle lights, and ornaments. The presents would be spread out all under and around the tree.
Dad liked to have us open one gift at a time so everyone could see what each person received. He handed out gifts in a planned order. Sometimes there were matching gifts the four of us kids were to open at the same time, but usually we opened one gift at a time.
When I was a teenager, Dad started giving us three sisters jewelry. We might get matching earrings or a set of bracelets each.
The second Christmas I was married, Dad saved the jewelry until almost the last gift. He handed each of us three girls a box and told us to wait to open it. We all waited to hear what Dad had to say.
He was a bit teary eyed when he told us, “This is a bit nicer piece of jewelry than I usually give you girls. It will be the last gift of jewelry I give you. Two of you are married now. It is up to your husbands to give you jewelry, not me. I love you all and am proud to be your dad. But now it is for them to provide for you.”
We each opened our boxes. In it we each found a beautiful diamond drop on a gold chain.
My dad has been gone eleven years now. He wasn’t perfect and he made mistakes, but he loved us. He loved my husband. He loved my kids.
I still wear that diamond drop. Every time I put it on, I think of my Dad and the love he had for each of us. Being his daughter is a gift I cherish.