It's not really because of the gifts (well, it kind of is), but it's because I love giving (and getting) gifts! When I was little, I would find stuff around my room (toys, stuffed animals, rocks and paper flowers) and I would grab some wrapping paper and begin to "do my Christmas shopping". I always have, and I believe I always will, make my gifts. For me, I think it's a waste of money to buy something I'm just going to forget about in a year. Seriously, think about what you got last year, do you remember? I can't remember it all, but I do remember the things people took the time and effort to make.

In our house we always go big on the wrapping. My mom is the best wrapper I have ever met! Seriously! She does something different each year and somehow each year it gets better! No matter what's inside, it's just fun (& pretty) to look at. When I was in Fifth grade or Sixth grade, my dad just lost his job due to his alcoholism & therefore had very little money for gifts so I only asked for a few things. Once everything was wrapped, I saw a purple package with a silver star ribbon, amazing curls and a silver bell. Y'all, this was the prettiest present I had ever seen and I still think it is to this day! That Christmas morning I opened this pretty purple package with my name on it and it was computer paper. Fear not guys, I was happy! My mom didn't have a lot of money to buy me a fancy Nintendo system or something crazy like that, but she absolutely made sure that my paper was taken wonderful care of a when she wrapped it with love. (Side-note: I love being surprised and I love surprising people. However, I was a really bad present peaker...real bad! So bad in fact my mom wrapped boxes in fake boxes to throw me off! Mom: 1 Valerie: 0....)

On Christmas Eve of 2008 I was sitting in a massive tent in a back yard doing a whole bunch of drugs. I knew it was Christmas Eve and I knew I needed to go home because deep down I loved Christmas, but at this time I loved drugs just a little bit more. The hours passed and at 6:30 am I started to drive home and drove for a while before I actually got there. I didn't want to face my family after not sleeping and being high for more than 24 hours. I knew they would know I wasn't OK. Sure enough, I walked in and everyone was there unwrapping their gifts and in walks a very strung out Valerie...a disappointment, to myself and to them as well.

I overdosed 10 days after that and I tell you what, Christmas of 2009 was the best Christmas ever. I sang carols all the time (and I still do), we baked Christmas cookies and I made my usual gifts, this time a little bit better than a paper flower or a rock, and we actually enjoyed it! I won't ever be able to get back my wasted Christmas, but I did promise myself after that night there would never ever again be another Christmas like that.
Christmas is a time when all is well for me! Even if it's not, there's something more important, and that's Jesus. Like the sign says, Jesus is the reason for the season!

You are Beautiful, Believe it!

Posted on December 14, 2013 .