“A New Old Journal,” Ensign, Sept. 1985, 64
Since my parents are retired and financially able to provide for themselves, and since I am a young-married still living among the “budget set,” gift-giving occasions are something of a challenge. But I held planning sessions with my husband, and since then our Christmas gift-giving for both our parents and ourselves has been a happy and rewarding experience.
Our parents have received certificates for foot rubs (something my mother loves and seldom gets since I moved away from home), cupboard cleaning, wallpaper hanging, and furniture refinishing. Other gifts have included certificates for an entire day of our time (without the kids!) to do as they wish, twenty loaves of homemade bread (or cookies) deliverable throughout the year, and engine tuneups.
Two years ago, however, I had my best idea. I gave each of my parents a journal. But it was a journal with a difference: it was already full of recorded experiences that were special memories of that parent and myself. Each journal was written in short-story form, and each incident titled. The journals contained fifteen to twenty pages of typed material, and each was prefaced with a letter of love and appreciation.
I gave the journals to my parents on Christmas Eve, following our traditional family gathering. They stayed up that night laughing and crying as they read. It is a gift they treasure and one I was proud to give. Diana B. Parker, Murray, Utah