You can give gifts; socks, pencils, toys. Socks will get holes in them, pencils will wear down, and toys will break. Words can create images and bring back memories that will never wear down or break. You are a writer. This year, gift writing.
Write with intent. Give someone you love a story about how much they mean to you.
Your Writing Is a Gift
The word “gift” has several meanings.
Your writing is a gift. A natural ability, and something to give away without payment.
Give a gift of writing. Write a story and mail it. Send it in an e-mail, and in an envelope with a stamp.
I mailed my mother in Canada several small presents. The parcel arrived in time; my mother put the gifts under the ceramic Christmas tree she made in 1976, to open on Christmas Day. I won’t be with her when she opens them. I live in Pennsylvania; she lives in Saskatchewan. One country and one time zone away. Two thousand miles, a thirty-one-hour drive.
Today I will write a story for my mom. The email will arrive in time. And I will print it out, put it in an envelope and mail it. It will arrive after Christmas, but hopefully, it will bring back memories of times shared.
So, what do I want to tell my mom? What do I really want to say?
Who do you want to give a story to? What do you really want to say?
Not what do you want to say—what do you really want to say?
Who Is Your Story For?
Who would you like to write a story for? Maybe you have someone who has everything. They don’t need any more socks. They already have a blender, and they don’t need any more salt shakers.
Is the story for your mom? Have you ever told her how you feel?
Is the story for your doctor? Have they been your doctor for the past thirty years?
Maybe the story is for your spouse? Your grandparent? Your child? Your college roommate?
What Is Your Story About?
Write a specific story for a specific person. An audience of one. Go beyond the surface story to the heart beneath.
Think about what the story really means.
Do you want to thank your parents for the bike they gave you when you were eight? Are you thanking them for the bike, or are you thanking them for the self-sacrifice you saw, when they ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a year at their jobs to be able to pay for your bike?
If your parents are no longer alive, write a letter to your child. Or write a letter to a service member thanking them for their service.
While I was writing this post, I remembered a story my mom wrote and gave me for my birthday several years ago. It is called “Memories of my little girl—Pamela Berdeane.” She wrote the story in the first person, as if I was telling the story.
I don’t remember what she gave me last year. But she wrote the story twelve years ago, and I still have it.
This is an excerpt from that seventeen-page single-spaced story she gave me in 2004:
I was in Granny Mary’s bedroom. I found a pair of scissors, then proceeded to cut off all of my curls, some places I put the scissors right to my scalp and cut. I cut my hair all over my head, then I put all my curls in my hands and went off to the kitchen to show my Mom.
Write a story, a short story. You don’t have to write seventeen single-spaced pages like my mom did. Start with one story, and give the gift of writing.
Writing can be a powerful way to love someone well.
p.s. here is the haircut.
Have you ever given someone the gift of your writing? Let me know in the comments.
Today, write a story and send it. You can take fifteen minutes to write and share your story in the comments here, or just let us know that you wrote one. Some stories are meant only for the person the story is written for.
If you would like to share your story here, please do. And read someone else’s story and comment.
Thank you for reading my posts and commenting. I love to read your stories.