Monday, October 25, 2010

Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more

Christmas 1992 was memorable for me. It was the year that when mom and dad told us to make our "wish list" that I couldn't find that one i-have-to-have-that-gift-please-please-please gift. I remember going through the Macy's toy catalog that we were sent and thumbing through each page with ease and care in hopes that something would scream at me. But it didn't.

 So I started my list. I wrote a random troll down (yes, I collected trolls), a couple of games, and a mickey mouse watch.. I gave it to mom to "deliver" to Santa.. and that was it. Looking back, I'm not sure what time of the year it was, but I am guessing it was sometime early December. after giving mom that gift list, I forgot all about it.

UNTIL...Several weeks later as Christmas was approaching (literally 2 days away) I happen to be at my grandma's going through the mail on the table and then I saw it, it was an add for the newest Cabbage Patch Kid. I had that moment of "I need it I need it I need it!"And that was it. My heart was committed to this gift.  That evening I was so excited to deliver the news to mom that I had finally found that one gift that would complete me!  I went to my mom  waving the add in hand and said "I want to change my list for Santa. To this! the newest cabbage patch kid! I want her to have blonde hair and blue eyes and..." Mom stops me,  looks at me "well, you can't. Christmas is 2 days away. It's too late, Amber. And Santa couldn't find that gift he wanted to at this time in the season. "In almost a condescending tone I replied "yes he can! Santa will do it!!!"  I remember mom bending down to make eye contact, looking at me very seriously and saying "Amber, do not get your hopes up. you will not see that doll under the tree on Christmas."

But I wasn't accustomed to being turned down. Especially when it came to Christmas gifts. In my heart of hearts I felt like I would wake up and see my little blond haired blue eyed Cabbage Patch Kid, and I would say to mom "but you said..!" and then she would say "well, Santa must have got the message." or something along those lines.

The evening before Christmas I went to bed excited and filled with anticipation over the gift. I knew 'Santa' would come through. I knew it. . So, you can imagine my surprise when I woke up on Christmas morning and  ran like a cheetah toward to tree to find  the troll, a couple of games, and even  the Mickey mouse watch..but  no Cabbage Patch. I continued to digg. and dig. and dig. But there was no use.. My heart sunk. I cried.

it was a traumatic Christmas for me.
Looking back.. I wonder what could have prevented this. Mom told me that it was not going to be there. It was clear on her part- but  did I have this unwavering faith in the magic of Santa, or the spirit of Christmas? Or was it that I knew that gifts were important enough to my family, that I knew that somehow I'd get THAT gift because I had always got THAT gift? I think it was probably a healthy combination of the two. especially being that gifts were a HUGE part of the Christmas family tradition.

Now that we have a mini-Mac (AKA the Aveman, ave, or Avery) traditions for me are all the more important. I love the idea of carving pumpkins, going to a pumpkin patch, dressing up for trunk or treat, decorating the tree, and yes, even giving gifts etc. And at the same time, I want so badly to instill traditions that are going to point him and his little heart in the right direction with the right mindset. I want Christmas for us to be a time to focus on Jesus, our family, and by family yes, we can give a gift or two. But not to the point that it's all consuming!   I am really stuggling with the fact that the HUGE amount of what Christmas brings is stress financially because of the all ever popular idea that Christmas is about the gifts! With Christmas being right around the corner, I can't help but wonder what we as a family need to do to deter from our society's version of Christmas traditions where we are pressured into beliving that all it's about is the gifts, and flashiness of it all.

One of my favorite lines out of Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch stole Christmas" is:

" It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages boxes, or bags!
 And he puzzled and puzzled, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more."

Maybe Christmas perhaps, DOES mean more.  Although it's October and still a few months away, lets go outside the box and focus on Christmas in a different light this year. Thats my goal. What's yours?


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