A special gift

Published 9:00 pm Saturday, December 23, 2023

The chilly, put-on-clean-sheets, December morning pushed me to reach toward the back of the linen shelf for the flannel set of sheets. Their soft, extra layers of warmth would enhance our winter nights’ sleep. Then I reached for the matching set of flannel pillowcases, but another set cornered my attention.

I reached down under the stack for the bright green holly leaves. A scattering of red berries among the leaves sang “Merry Christmas” to me. The stark, white pillowcases had not yellowed with age, and the border of life-size holly leaves with their accompanying red berries displayed the beauty and artistry of my mother’s embroidery skills.

The set was a gift from Mother at the beginning of a December long ago. She loved to sit beside Daddy in their matching chairs in front of their den’s glowing fireplace and create gifts for her family. They were parents and grandparents to a growing number of offspring, so there were many gifts to stitch.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It was a special moment in time as I held the aged gift from my mother. I studied the stitches that were tiny – stitches that painted clearly with her needle and thread. I pictured her making the berries plump and round as she twisted the red thread round and round with her needle and finger. So many stitches and created with loving thoughts of me. I could read and know that in those strands of guided threads.

I continued my job, and then it was time for the holly leaves pillowcases. I pushed the pillows into these cases with a gentler motion than usual. I placed them on the bed and admired their beauty. This housekeeping task had taken on a sentimental and nostalgic journey. I would treasure this moment and enjoy the December nights with my head resting on Mother’s love.

As I thanked my Father for orchestrating this special discovery and Christmas gift, He seemed to be impressing upon me the simplicity of His birth – a common stable on a wintry night – such an unlikely place for the birth of a King. But it was His love that made the common a treasure, and His children can rest in and on that love for time that will never have an end.