Christmas is next week. And I’m not ready. You know those people who always come up with the perfect gift? Thoughtful, unique and useful.
That’s not me.
I never know what to get my loved ones. Or I come up with a great idea, but can’t find it. Like the year my oldest son was about three. All he wanted for Christmas was a “man-deer.” He’d watched Bambi hundreds of times and wanted one of those lighted deer lawn ornaments. But he wanted a buck. We couldn’t find any. He also wanted a Jackalope, but they’re a little pricy for a four-year-old.
One year, he wanted a Tonka bulldozer. You know, the metal kind you can build roads with in the backyard? Well, they only had the plastic talking kind that required batteries. The kind that would break if played with outside. That year eBay came to the rescue. But it was a little scary, not knowing what kind of condition the toy would be in. It was fine. Just what he wanted and we still have it. It’s rusty and covered with sand, but both boys got plenty of use out of it.
The boys are older now. Fifteen and eleven. I go down the toy aisle and feel sadness. My babies have grown up. They prefer video games and music downloads to toys. The youngest still likes Lego’s but the Thomas the Train set will go into storage for our grandkids.
Like many people, I feel that Christmas has gotten too commercialized. Expectations are set too high. Diamonds, the newest smart phone, a luxury car. None of those things will be under our tree.
But that’s ok. We’ll spend Christmas Eve at my In-laws. We’ll have a nice dinner, good conversation and the kids will be sufficiently spoiled by their grandparents. We’ll come home to find our stockings overflowing with goodies, we’ll unwrap more presents than we swore we were going to get for each other. We’ll probably watch at least a little of A Christmas Story before heading to the Bay Area for Christmas Dinner with extended family. More conversation, food, wine, and presents. We’ll sing The Twelve Days of Christmas and realize that the best presents we could have is simply being present for each other.