Our CurlTalkers are a wonderful, boisterous bunch. We talk tough, we argue, we complain. But we know, truly, that CurlTalkers are tender to the core. Read their beautiful stories of holiday gift giving and receiving and you'll know just what an amazing group of curlies call NaturallyCurly home.
When we were in high school my brother was a baseball player and wanted to get recruited to play college ball. He hit over .500, but never hit a home run.
There was that old M&Ms commercial where kids were playing a baseball game, and different colors represented different types of hits. Greens were home runs. (Yes, we were very innocent, and no you couldn't just buy a single color at the time that I knew of.) The entire fall semester of school I bought M&Ms each time I wanted a snack and saved the greens. Each time one of my friends bought some I asked them to save the greens. For Hanukkah I ended up giving my brother a jar of green M&Ms. Years later he told me it was the best present anyone had given him, because he knew how much time and energy it took to collect all of them.
Oh, and the next year he hit his first home run.
In HS and college I had 2 best friends. One was Jewish (like me) and the other was Catholic. We were HS tight, ya know? Lived in each others houses, etc.
Every Christmas I was invited to join my friend Karen and her immediate family only for the holiday. They were old-school Italian, so the food was abundant and off the hook. But the best part was being included as a member of the family; it always felt warm and close and not at all commercial. I was moved and grateful to be so unconditionally welcomed in their intimate family tradition.
I grew up in central Illinois and we had years and years of terribly cold and snowy winters when I was in grade school and junior high. My dad was an over-the-road truck driver, and because of our horrible weather, and the horrible weather on the east coast (where they always seemed to send him in December), we never knew for sure if he was going to make it home for Christmas even if the boss guaranteed him the day off.
So every year for years the best gift our family got was hearing that "big dog" idling outside, and Dad yelling, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" regardless of the time of night.
I miss my dad so much.
Jess the Mess
Last year my uncle got a huge check from disability that he had been fighting for for over a year. He bought the entire family a season pass to Disneyland for Christmas with his check. Less than 2 weeks later he died. We have gone 7 times this year and every time we thank him.
Not to be sappy, but I'm so thrilled to be alive and post-surgery, every bell, song and holiday greeting I hear from any and all religions are going to be gifts to me this season. I'm so excited and ready for the holidays!!!
My two BFFs would always invite me and my family over for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Their mom would always cook her famous enchiladas and we would always have apple cider and do cheers in honor of being together. They have this tradition when after dinner, everyone gathers around the Christmas tree and my BFFs would always perform a song they wrote (they're aspiring singers-songwriters). Last year, we got an old friend of ours back in Orlando, Alexis on the phone to listen, and they performed "When You're Around", which was written for me and our friend. The song was to remind them that we've been BFFs ever since 2004, that they moved with me, and that they'd always be there no matter what. I was so touched I almost cried, and Alexis actually did start to cry a bit. The gift to me was mostly that they were letting me know all that in their own words from their own heart. It was the best present anyone has ever given me.