Thursday, 22 December 2011

The best gift ever.

Linking up with Mama Kat's writers workshop today, following the prompt: "The best gift ever!"

Why does my wrapping never look that neat?!
My first thought when I read the prompt was that I should, through the course of writing, come to the conclusion that the best gifts you get are the ones which are free, i.e. love, happiness etc. So I sat and soul searched, rummaged through photos of Christmases and birthdays past to find some inspiration but it turns out that, if I'm being honest, I'm a bit too materialistic to remember most of the "priceless" gifts that I feel like I should be sharing.

Of course I have priceless memories (my Dad dropping the flaming Christmas pudding on the carpet, my Grandad getting drunk and trying to reverse his classic car out of his garage at my birthday party, so many classic nights out with my amazing friends I couldn't recall them all), but I don't consider them gifts as such. Yes, they are the things which make a day memorable, but the presents are the cherry on the cake. Or, at least, they should be. This got me thinking about last Christmas and how the gifts I received really do stick in my mind, but probably for the wrong reasons.

My boyfriend, last year, bought me a whole array of presents, but each one was selected to correct one of my faults. By this I mean that I asked for a new watch so he bought me two, and wrote on the tag that the second one was for when I lose the first one. Charming. And basically, everything in the bag was either to replace things I had lost or broken in the last few months (complete with little gift tag reminding me that he had bought me new ones because I was too useless to have kept the last ones) or gifts I just didn't really get.  So why am I writing about this? Because these presents gave me the gift of knowledge - he didn't love me despite my faults, he liked pointing them out because he was one of those people I tend to attract who need to put other people down to make themselves feel better. I was then able to keep an eye out for more of this, more times when he made me feel shit and eventually things, not through lack of trying, finally came to an end. If only I had paid more attention to the sign, rather than putting up with more attempts to put me down, maybe I would have had a better year. But hindsight is a beautiful thing, and you can only learn from your experience.

The Christmas before that gave me the knowledge that actually, my family didn't know me. The presents they chose were so far away from what I would have chosen for myself that I realised it was no wonder they didn't choose things I would like because I had so badly distanced myself from them. I therefore made it my new years resolution to spend more time with my family. I did, and we're closer than ever, plus, I finally have a non-volatile relationship with my Mum.

So I guess, whilst probably not having approached this writing prompt in the way that was intended, without those presents I would be living a different, potentially worse life. They made me realise what needed to change and I hope now that those things have, this Christmas and my whole future will be better for it.

Or they taught me just to ask for money to buy my own presents in the sales. One of the two...


Kimberly said...

What a gift it can be to let something go in one case...and to hold on tighter to something else.

Loved this post. Stopped by from Mama Kat's today :)

Arnebya said...

I actually enjoyed your take on the prompt. Life is learning; you are using what you've learned in your favor and making change/making yourself better. That is definitely a gift.

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