This month gifts and give-giving can feel inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?
It is my understanding of our world or culture that people like to get gifts but they love to give gifts. And I totally get it– just the other day I wrapped up my Christmas shopping by going to a funky little store with lots of different things and picked out gifts that reminded me of the recipient or that I thought would stretch them a little or would at least give us all a big laugh. Gift-giving brings us joy as we imagine the joy the gift-getter might experience.
After Aaron and I got engaged this summer, my sister offered to host an engagement party for us. I didn’t really know what an engagement party was (and maybe I still don’t) but I love a good party and “TheKim&Erik” have party hosting down to an art.
To say I was stunned by the turnout would be The Understatement of 2012. I was wake-up-with-your-head-sown-to-the-carpet stunned. It was busy and it felt like we had to talk to a million people at once. And, of course, we told the same story over and over and over again…
The engagement? Well, I mean… it was really a non-event, in typical Aaron style. We were walking to a neighborhood bar and he just said, “Did you want to get married?” I wasn’t looking at him and thought we were rehashing a somewhat tired conversation we had been having for a long time– the one where I kept insisting we be engaged before we bought a house. So, of course, I snarked at him and said something like, “Yes, Aaron. Of COURSE I want to get married and I don’t think that is SUCH an antiquated idea that we make a commitme–” I look over, Aaron is staring patiently with a ring box open and just calmly says, “Well, no. I’m serious this time.”
During the party, if I mentioned how busy it was and that i was a bit overwhelmed by all the people, everyone chuckled and said, “Just wait for the wedding. It will be just like this! But more!”
Just like this, you say?
WELL THEN LET’S HAVE A MILLION WEDDINGS BECAUSE THAT WAS SO FREAKIN’ AWESOME.*
Hello?! Sure, there was a ton to do but when a bunch of the people you love and love you right back all get together and make new friendships and families meet and …. omigosh, this is perfect.
There are few days in life when it is so clear that we are loved in a million ways and that there are just dozens of people who are supporting us and our upcoming marriage. Family and friends who will cry with us and hold us when times are hard, advise us when we are unsure, and will joyously celebrate with us, big things and small.
A lot of hard work went in to that party, and many guests shared with us wonderful tangible gifts as well, but to be swept up in that kind of love and friendship, even if for only an afternoon? Truly, a gift that has kept on giving.