Hanging in my closet at my mother's is a flannel nightgown, the tags still on it. The colors are ugly, and the fabric rough from many years of hanging untouched in a closet.
It is the unopened gift.
My grandmother died just before Christmas. All of the presents wrapped and under the tree, Christmas dinner cooked and in the fridge. But she wasn't there. She was suddenly gone.
My post about my grandmother
My grandfather had purchased this nightgown for her all those many years ago. He hung it in her closet and it stayed there until his death, unable to part with the last thing that he had bought for her. When we moved, I took it with me rather than give it away, a nod of sentiment to a lady I never met and to my grandfather's undying love for her.
I was reading on the Mommy blogs about the shooting. Someone mentioned all of the gifts that will go unopened this Christmas.
There is a hollowness in my heart. Those families will wake up Christmas morning and their children's gifts, brought by Santa, will go unopened. The laughter and joy of those little kids on Christmas morning will only be an echo in their memory. No trying out a new trike for the first time or opening a new doll. And I wonder, thirty years from now, if some new toy will lay buried in a closet just like my grandmother's nightgown.
As you go about your last minute holiday preparations, hold your family close and give sentiment as much as stuff.
And as you open your gifts on Christmas morning, enjoy it. Celebrate. But this year, as the last gift is opened, take a moment and remember... the unopened gift.