Look closely at this picture.
It is a vintage miniature replica of a telephone made of glass and metal. It only stands about four inches tall. The metal part screws off, and when it was new the hollow glass bottom was filled with tiny, colorful candies about the size of BB’s. The bottom is dated 1907 and has a sticker on the side that says “Hello Sweetheart”.
Now consider this; this was a Christmas gift that my Grandfather received when he was a child. But it wasn’t stuffed in a stocking with other goodies. It wasn’t part of a larger gift, nor was it in addition to something else. This was Grandpa’s entire Christmas. It was the only item that Santa left under the tree for him that particular year.
- Compare that to what you or your family members bought for each other this holiday season.
- Compare it to what you put under the tree for your children.
- Compare it to what you bought for yourself while Christmas shopping.
I keep this knickknack on a shelf in our dining room, and I think about its origins every time we decorate for the holidays or clean-up afterwards – and it almost makes me cry. It helps me keep things in perspective as I pile present after present under our multiple trees – most of which, the recipients don’t even need.
It makes me grateful for the relationship I had with Grandpa and solidifies my desire to be more like him as I grow older and have grandkids of my own. It’s why when my first granddaughter was born in 2012, I wanted to be called “Pop” – because that’s what I called him.
It also makes me grateful to have my daughter and her growing family close-by, where I can be there for them, just as Pop was there for us.
It’s been over 11 years since he passed away, but I still miss my Pop. Thankfully I can rest assured that because of things like this tiny toy telephone, or rows of tasseling corn, or a hundred other things I could mention, I know he will always be with me – be a part of me – and will continue to influence my life and my relationships for many years to come.