_Our family Christmas celebration will take place today, so most of mine aren't received yet, but I already know one of my best is a simple painting of a tea cup with a rose pattern, setting on a matching saucer-- the pattern extends, beautifully-- on a table, a spoon beside. I'm not sure of her original medium, but I received a print, on a card. It was done and sent to me by a friend in Indiana who I didn't even know did artistic painting. She sent with it a lovely, homey paragraph of the story of how the painting came to be. She said she sent it because I had sent my writing.
_This year has been a quiet one. The exciting events have been mainly tied to my grown sons, and those are mostly their stories to tell. So my Christmas letter included some observations from the natural world around me, and my deep, inner thoughts, and the questions triggered in me from those observations and thoughts.
_One friend asked, "Aren't you afraid to share so much of yourself? "Yes, it did feel a little risky, but I only sent to my Christmas card list, and not all of those. Some responded with "I enjoyed" comments. Many send a card that is simply signed, and no more, essentially no response. But one geographically distant friend responded in kind with a gift from her own deepest self.
_My heart broke open a little wider than it's been. That's one of my best gifts this Christmas.
_Do you understand? Tell your story, what was your best gift?
~by Carol Bindel