Ribbons, bows & traditionsPublished on December 8, 2014

  • Mary Taggart

Interviewing Kyle and Julie Turris for our In Style feature about the traditions they hope to pass along to their new baby, I found myself wondering which ones my own children will carry on. Will it be the siblings' secret Santa or the Christmas morning wife-saver dish that my husband and daughter make on Christmas Eve? Perhaps it will be the never-ending holiday music that plays in the background for the entire month of December or Christmas crackers and party hats!

When I look back at my own childhood, I know one of the stronger family traditions was thoughtful giving. Gifts were plentiful and meaningful, but not necessarily overly extravagant.

One of my fondest memories is of my great-aunt Georgie who would come by bus from Peterborough to spend Christmas with us and whip up the fun factor. She would arrive with mounds and mounds of beautifully wrapped gifts ... all for herself! Off the bus she'd toddle with bags of wrapped packages in her hands and an ear-to-ear smile as she exclaimed, "Aunty is here!"

Georgie was a well-loved woman and her bounty beneath our tree was a tribute to the fact that her friends showed their affections with gifts. Long after my brother and sister and I had opened our gifts, we would all gather around to watch Georgie open one present after another. I have never known, then or now, someone with so many gifts to open from so many friends! But I think experiencing her holiday tradition in our home sparked my love of gift giving and initiated my joy of watching people open gifts.

The look of a beautifully wrapped present makes me smile, not so much for what awaits inside, but more for the excitement of the surprise and knowing that beneath the wrap, ribbons and bows lies an expression of emotion. When a gift is given in its purest form, there is no expectation of anything in return other than a recipient's feelings of happiness upon receiving it. Of all the holiday traditions passed down from generation to generation, I believe this true sense of gift giving is my favourite.

Wishing you a holiday full ?of traditional joys,


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