There is one gift that really stands out from my childhood because it was a mistake-sort of.
We lived in a very small town when I was growing up and there wasn't really anywhere for my parents to shop for gifts other than the Sear's catalog and the overpriced drugstores. So, they would go to Spokane to get our gifts, which was about 35 miles away. It's funny how far away that seemed as a child compared to now when that really doesn't seem like that big of a deal. One year, I really wanted Western Barbie. I got my Western Barbie, but apparently Mom had gotten distracted in the store and accidentally grabbed the black one instead of the white. She wasn't sure whether or not to give it to me since she figured I would be disappointed it wasn't exactly what I wanted, but I didn't care. A Barbie was a Barbie to me. The next Christmas, I got the black Beach Ken so she would have a boyfriend. I guess my parents didn't approve of Inter-racial Barbie relationships. Strawberry Shortcake's little friend Orange Blossom ultimately joined my little African-American Barbie family.
In recent years, the best gift I received was my Kitchenaid Stand mixer, which was a gift from James. His co-workers told him he was screwed-you don't get a woman appliances for Christmas! He just told them "you don't know my woman." And he was right. I wanted one of those mixers and I absolutely love it.
As I have been doing my shopping the last couple of weekends, I have seen several things I would have likely given James for Christmas this year. It is still hard to understand at times that I will never give him another gift. I hung the ornament from our first Christmas on the tree and I hung up his stocking. I didn't even hesitate on that. He is still in my heart and part of my life; it is up to me to decide how to remember him.
But at the same time, I find myself wondering where my life will be this time next year and whether or not there will be someone new on my list of people to buy Christmas presents for.