Prompt for December 30: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?
When I was a little girl, I used to put out beer and cookies for Santa. Because my parents said Santa could probably use a cold one after traveling such distances dragging around a giant bagged filled with Polly Pockets. Obviously, I wanted to please Santa, so I obliged. Only now looking back do I see the humor of this ritual.
Anyway, my parents always put together an awesome Christmas. SO MANY GIFTS. I recall Barbies galore, a bike with a built in radio, American Girl dolls, my first film camera and later my first digital camera. Each Christmas featured a sweet surprise gift neither my sister nor I expected.
Christmastime between the ages of 5 and 12 is totally awesome. The stuff you want is reatively inexpensive, easy to get, and provides maximum excitement. Plus, shopping for this set is totally fun. The gifts make music, feature bright lights and colors, and provide endless hours of entertainment.
But once you get older, well, your gifts get lamer. In the teenage years, desired gifts are often expensive and hard to come by. So those are the years I rememeber getting underwear and socks. It was a tough go, those teenager years, after coming off of the high and excitment of Christmases as an elementary school kid.
So from then on Christmas became more of a get-what-you-need day, which I did not understand the beauty of until recently. As a young married couple, Dan and I started out with little in the way of Living Supplies like baking sheets and more than two bath towels. But due to the generosity of both sets of parents, we are set up with everything we need.
And Christmas became more about the traditions and the cookie making and the time spent together. Much richer a holiday experience. And being a parent at Christmas might even rival being a child at Christmas. Christmas with Kate this year made everything more sparkly. Because even though she will not remember posing under the Christmas Tree in her snowman PJs, Dan and I will.
Enjoying my family and finally getting the chance to make our own traditions and celebrate the holidays in our own way was my gift to myself. We don’t do crazy gifts, we don’t require several course meals, we don’t hinge huge expectations on one another. We are each other’s gift.