Parenting · Perfecting Dysfunction

The gift that keeps on givin’

I got to thinking about the kids’ Christmas lists and wondering, exactly what was it last year they ‘couldn’t live another year without,’  that thing that forced me to stand in two-hour lines to purchase? (What was that thing?) Can you remember what you got for Christmas last year?  How about your spouse or your kids?  Can you remember what you gave, or where you spent the day?




After we lost our seven-year-old son, each Christmas was spent wondering what sort of gift he would have wanted that particular year.

We tried to never let our sadness affect the excitement our other three sons experienced.   But we realized:  things had become less valuable than relationships.  Much less! And from that exchange came our ideas about taking a world trip with our family.   More time together, more adventure, more mistakes, more recoveries, more memories!

Suzhou,  China

Ask me what I remember about the gifts I got or gave last year, and I doubt I can give you a complete list.  But ask me about the Christmas spent three years ago when we took Our BackPack around the world and I can nail that memory!

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Before you get too wiggy this year spending your money on family gifts of technology which will be outdated in another month, consider starting your own “AWE Travel Fund.”  Ask each family member ‘If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be – and why?”   Talk it up!  When you study cultures together knowing you may get the chance to actually visit these places, you get a whole new level of interest.

Cousin Eddie in the movie Christmas Vacation, said it best:  “It’s the gift that just keeps on givin’, Clark.”

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(Cousin Eddie thought it was the Jelly-of-the-Month-Club — but we are pretty sure it’s a family adventure!)





One thought on “The gift that keeps on givin’

  1. Great reflection and connection to reality of the season, Dawn! I would go to 🇮🇹 because I’ve had my ❤️ set on it. And I can’t wait for the 10-step plan!


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