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Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas gifts

Painting by Tony Brown

Although Christmas isn't about presents I have to say this year I was blown away, not by the gifts per se, but by the incredible thought behind several of them.

I was so spoilt by being given a stunningly, beautiful, Swarovski, crystal ornament of a butterfly on a leaf - a true work of art. The butterfly has a very special meaning to me - not because I love it as an living creature but due to the symbolism behind it. This was a present that left a lump in my throat. I want to share the symbolism behind the Celtic Tribal Butterfly "The butterfly is a symbol of the Resurrection. Rising from the seemingly lifeless chrysalis of the ugly caterpillar reminds one that after suffering through some major change in life we will be rewarded with a more beautiful phase. The spiral often symbolizes the continuity of life and spiritual growth. Out of the cocoon the butterfly arises anew."

When I was a kid I was a complete bookworm - it was a great form of escape and I could never read enough. One of my favourite series was Trixie Belden. I had the whole set 37 of them however when my marriage ended the books ended up somewhere but not with me. My two sisters this year presented me with the complete set that they had painstakingly collected from Trademe - I was just gobsmacked - I would never have thought of that for a gift - the time that was involved, effort and thought - wow!! I really am blessed with two wonderful sisters.

I was also incredibly touched by an amazing artwork from my very talented artist friend Tony Brown. (Photo above) This is a new technique of his and involves sanding back the paint on wood to create the portrait. The floral design is carved into the wood. Such a breath taking piece which brought tears to my eyes.

And lastly my very thoughtful kiddies - a new map book (because mine had pages missing) an electric can opener (we have needed a new one for years) , nail polish (I'm running out) and dressing gown (the last one I had was 10 years old and from my pregnancy days!).
I honestly felt blessed enough having these people in my life - for all their love, support, encouragement and friendship without the gifts - but the thought behind all of these just shows how fantastic they are - and reinforces again that I'm lucky to have such generous, considerate family and friends.

1 comment:

Kay said...

Thankyou for sharing this. It is so good to count our blessings.

I was also intrigued to read about the butterfly symbolism. I didn't know that, but as the butterfly has replaced the bumblebee as my symbol in recent years it was lovely to read.

The bumblebee, by the way, I chose because (apparently) aerodynamically the bumblebee is not built to fly. Fortunately noone told that to the bumblebee!

There is a wonderful book entitled "The Bumblebee Flies Anyway" which we used as a text with fourth-formers for many years.

And butterflies? They bring colour and joy to our lives. And if you are a gardener, read the New Zealand short story about Butterflies (was it Patricia Grace?) It is very special.