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'Tis the season!

It's that time of year. You know. Gift giving season. I won't go on about the "reason for the season" because I'll assume that you, like me, know the reason for the season. Everyone has their own tradition based on whatever ideology they embrace.

When I was a child my Mother always went a little overboard at Christmas. Most holidays really, but especially Christmas. She was one of eight children. I was one of four. She made Christmas magical. . I don't mean to give her all the credit. Dad was there too but in our little world our Mom was the cruise director. We all had special outfits, stockings and personalized gifts.

Generally speaking, we went to my Aunt & Uncle's house on Christmas Eve. When I say 'house' I mean three story walk up on a small side street in South Boston. My Grandmother lived on the first floor, my Aunt and her family on the second floor.

There were many things we could count on at the family Christmas party. We always dressed up. There was always an abundance of food. I remember my grandmother's stuffed dates. Dates filled with peanut butter and fluff,  rolled in powdered sugar. Bowls of nuts and candy. All the fixings of a traditional holiday party you can imagine, and oh! Fried eggs, usually on the runny side with Portuguese sausage and English muffins.

We were showered with gifts from the Aunts and Uncles. What a gift giving palooza that must have been. We were not rich but we were blessed. I remember with particular fondness the gifts that came from Aunt Mary. She never married. I think maybe she held a special place in her heart for each and every one of us. Still does.

I often think of how overwhelmed we are these days. First with Black Friday and then Cyber Monday. Then there's the perpetual countdown. No matter how much preparation there's always a nagging feeling that we've forgotten something or someone.

I'm surprisingly calm this year. Well, except for the tree. It's not up yet. Usually we wait until mid December but with the grandchildren around more and more the anticipation is killing me. I long for the spirit of the season. I want the gifts to have meaning. It's important to me that what gift I give conveys the love and meaning that went into selecting it.

Can you keep a secret? Our granddaughters are getting a Frozen personalized book. I ask you - what kind of grandparents would we be if we could give them Frozen 2 and let it go? (Pun intended.)

Who's on your list? Have you checked it twice? My Great Keepsake has what you need for who you need. In the meantime, take a deep breath. Reflect on the past and take the time to make the gifts you give one's that will be cherished keepsakes in years to come. Happy Holidays!


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