by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
The Season of Good Cheer is upon us. As we pass through the dread event of Black Friday and begin to the sharp chill of winter, with snow and ice adults focus on ensuring the Tree is filled up with the magic of gifts. Children look forward with equal anticipation to Christmas vacation and the rending of wrappings, which will layer livingrooms like a gale of paper snow before the morning is over.
Gifts and giving are on our minds.
Most gifts fade from memory rapidly, gathering dust or disposed of when they break or fail to please us as hoped. Others, we remember forever because they keep giving.
Personally, I will never forget unwrapping my first camera, a Brownie. It was a simple box camera with a special, added addition. All my film was immediately developed for me. All I needed to do was hand the roll to my father.
The first five rolls, accompanying the camera, were used up and ready to be developed by the end of Christmas day. I was five. My camera had my initials inscribed on the top because both me and my younger brother received a Brownie that Christmas morning.
My Brownie was actually an invitation to become acquainted with my Father's father, Arthur C. Pillsbury, who had died two years before I was born. Dad used the stack of resulting prints to point out to me ways to improve my skills, for instance, keep your finger off the lens. My brother, Stephen, became a far better photographer. But the gift continued to provide insights for understanding my father and grandfather. Conversations with my father continue to come back to me at unexpected times.
According to Dad, the best photo takes you to a truth, illustrating this in one image which tells a complete story, capturing time, which otherwise slips away.
The best gifts can change our world, opening us up for greater understanding. When I pull out my cell phone to take a picture, I remember.
What was the best gift you have ever received?
And, as the days tick down to the 25th consider attending a delicious moment of Seasonal Celebration scheduled to take place at Saint Peter's Episcopal Church on Saturday, December 7th. Feverish preparations for the dinner, featuring turkey and ham among other mouth-watering delights, will be presented at 1:00 pm, along with games. Not all gifts come wrapped.