Gifts of the season

My father was a rabbi, I went to Orthodox day school.  Although I do have fond memories of stringing cranberries and popcorn to help my friends up the block decorate their Christmas trees, Christmas trees were not part of my home life.

I remember when my kids were little and the tree vendors set up each Thanksgiving up and down Broadway when they were really small they lusted after the trees. By the time they hit grade school the persistence of Christmas felt like an intrusion into their very selves.

For the past 20 years, Patricia has come into our apartment once a week and kept us looking like civilized human beings. As a family we aren't dirty, but we are all of us, (especially me) messy. Patricia cleans and tidies every Thursday. Our apartment looks great for Shabbat thanks to Patricia.

Every year I give Patricia a gift at this time of the year. Every year she gives me a gift. For the past several years Patricia's gift to our family is a really Christmassy floral arrangement.

This is this year's arrangement. The flowers are stunning quality.

Every year my husband who like me grew up in a home where Christmas was very much NOT celebrated is deeply uncomfortable with Patricia's gift. ( How can we have such a Christmassy thing in our home?)

I have grown to truly love this spectacular annual gift.
It is a gift given with great love. I give my own gift to Patricia with the same spectacular grand gesture, usually something I have made.

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