When they were little we always made sure they each had the same number of presents. We still do that now. All parents probably do that – making sure that neither child feels slighted. Presents, after all, are an outward display of affection. So demonstrating more affection towards one or the other is never a good thing.
When they were young, one loved everything pink and the other loved everything blue. So they would often get the same thing, only one in pink and one in blue: sweaters, doll clothes, backpacks. That is how it was for several years. Now that they are older, we still try to balance gifts – a scarf for one, gloves for the other. That’s how it goes when you have two. Because they will always compare notes. Always.
Ever since the youngest one learned to talk, and possibly even before that, they have shared their lives with one another. They used to share bunk beds and toys. Now they share stories of their separate lives in different places; tales of their college experiences, their friends, and their feelings. They are each others’ touchstones and confidantes. They are sisters, and they are friends.
When they are apart they miss one another. I know for a fact that they Skype, chat and text frequently, because they sometimes mention it to one or the other of their parents. Oh yes, they keep us in the loop, but they keep each other closer. We hope they will always be close, long after we are gone.
I can still walk into a store and pick out something that each of them would like. Gift giving has never been hard with either of them, and I’m actually fairly good at recognizing their tastes. In fact, it’s too easy. I really have to reign in my spending, but usually my husband and the budget help with that.
We aren’t giving a lot this year, but they will get a few surprises under the Christmas tree. The truth is we have already given them their greatest gifts: each other.