Christmas for me as a child growing up used to be about nothing but the presents. Presents, presents, presents. How many toy ideas could I cram onto Santa’s list (without going over his budget)?
And of course, every year, would be of normally the same decorations: a tree, indoor wreath, a bow on the front door, stockings. But as the years advanced, my sister and I would find a way to push our dad for more decorations to be put up. (I bet the day he had to put up all those outdoor lights, he was wishing he hadn’t mentioned it!)
But, for me, as a child, I didn’t have many friends and I didn’t see many of my relatives. You see, were living in Florida, while everyone else mainly lived up north.
I guess for me to recall what Christmas past story I remember the most, was I guess, my eleventh Christmas.
That year, (this wasn’t too many years off from my parents divorce), I got to have my father’s mother and one of her brothers, plus my mom’s father come over for Christmas. And on top of that, we had just gotten our overly-excited dog Suzy barely a year ago and that year, my sister and I had loaded our lists with lots of items – yet, everything was low in cost already and mostly on sale. (That’s the right way to trick Santa!)
I had too much fun that year helping wrapping presents and counting them over and over (I was a kid). I also went overboard trying to help decorate. Let’s see, I had to put out my McDonald’s Christmas plate and their Happy Meal toys that we’re related to Christmas. And of course, in my room were paper snowflakes and a count-down calendar. And of course all over my school stuff were endless doodles of anything related to Christmas. The closer to Christmas it got, I think my parents were way past tired of my version of “Jingle Bells”!
I remember that Christmas I was actually nice and didn’t tear into the gifts. Instead, I passed out gifts and stacked mine into a pile, while everyone else opened first. (And then I tore into my gifts!) Even Suzy had a gift – a new bed.
The only bad part of Christmas was at dinner, me and my sister, Melissa, were squashed up at the end of the table near the freezer. Our voices we’re so drowned out by the adults, you could barely hear us squeak out our requests for food.
Every Christmas after, I was hoping for the same. But, every year has to be different. There are some Christmases that have been quiet. And there are some, that well, are far from quiet! I remember just recently how exhausted my fiancé and I were one Christmas where we visited too many relatives in the same day!
For now, I’m just glad to be around people at the holidays.
Maybe, that was the present I was really forward to all along: family.