Amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas and holiday seasons past and present, could I let an opportunity pass without random thoughts on the matter?! I think not…
*Where did all my letters to Santa go?
*No driving school prepares you for the department store parking lots, mall lots or worst of all…the dreaded parking garage during the holiday season. Not even a NASCAR or stunt driver could compete with women on a mission.
*That said, I’ve been nearly run over, sworn at, gestured at, and have dueled for a spot like a cowboy from the old west.
*Christmas shopping is an art and requires the mind-reading skills of a psychic. Do they have this, will they like it, and will they need it or want it? Where’s Cleo when you need her?! (Disclaimer- No,I don’t believe in psychics!)
*Why was it that my kids always wanted the hot-ticket item for that year; the Tickle-me Elmo, Tamagotchis, Beanie Babies, Furby, Grand Champion Barbie, and the first-ever Nintendo DS ? Of course, there were always limited supplies so leaving with a rain check was the ultimate bummer.
*To get aforementioned gifts, I’ve shamelessly stood in lines in sub-zero temperatures, been awake at dawn, waited in parking lots, stared down other moms, and all but offered to sell blood plasma to get those items.
* By the way, my stare says, “Look lady, I was raised in redneck country and I will wrestle you to the ground for this Furby so don’t push me. Where I’m from, we believe in God and guns!”
*I always loved how we’d stay up putting toys together on Christmas Eve, fall into bed at 3 am and at 4 am, two little kids were so excited they couldn’t sleep and were ready to be up opening presents.
*I knew they’d grown up when I waited for them to wake up, and waited, and waited. Who was the kid then?
*I was always concerned that there were left-over parts and screws when my husband put things together…handy with tools he is not.
*He also never needed to read directions on toy assembly either. Is this in a man’s DNA or what…seriously?
*Hmm…selling my blood plasma, now there’s an idea. I’ll keep that in mind when grandkids are in the picture.
*I love football but there is honestly a bowl game for everyone by every company these days. Back in my day we had the Rose bowl, the Cotton Bowl, The Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. Now there are bowl games named for everything: tortilla chips, macaroni n cheese, cell phones, car repair, pizza, and even poinsettia’s…sigh, is anything pure anymore?
*I have photos of my kids with Santa. I recall jumping up and down behind the mall photographer trying to get a smile out of terrified looking faces…I am left asking myself,” Why, just why?”
*Speaking of Santa, may God forgive me for telling my kids if they misbehaved, I’d call Santa’s Naughty Hotline.
*Of course, my darling little daughter retorted to never mind because she asked Santa for coal and would be happy with it. I never got one up on her…never.
*I remember my son crying when the Disney Christmas parade was over on TV, he and his sister were sitting atop her Barbie playhouse. Yes, the one that Dad assembled with parts left over…I was nervous.
*I also remember how his sister comforted him…that’s never stopped.
*He still has the scar, above his lip, where he cut himself trying to open his Elmo package. I remember I was getting his bath ready and he found scissors and I almost passed out. The scar has faded but the guilt, however, is still fresh.
*One of the low points of the holiday is seeing grown men dressed as elves. What makes a man put on tights and say this is worth the humiliation?
*I might also add that not all mall Santas look or act the part. I realize it may be a drag holding terrified kids whose crazy moms are forcing the experience and jumping up and down behind the photographer (yes, I mean me!) but you’re paid to be jolly and roly-poly not skinny, crabby, or slightly drunk.
*How many of us have used the, “I’m one of Santa’s helpers” routine when kids caught us with their gifts before Christmas Eve?
*I remember crying on a Christmas Eve, as a little girl, because we didn’t have snow and I thought Santa couldn’t land the sleigh. My dad told me that Santa had special blades on the sleigh for grass-landings…good one!
* Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer was the first show that I ever saw in color. My sisters and I will never forget my dad carrying in a color TV on Christmas Eve which back then, was a huge sacrifice. We were so thrilled and I can still see his smile.
*The toys on the Island Of Misfit Toys were always my favorites. They’re the ones I would’ve wanted anyway since misfits make up the best toy box… I think misfits are God’s favorites too.
*If I were a Christmas dessert, I’d be a fruitcake; perhaps a little fruity, a tad nutty, shoved to the side for the flashier ones (sniff!) and certainly misunderstood. Guess that’s better than being a cut-out cookie.
*There’s nothing too tacky at Christmas time. It’s the time for the Christmas sweaters that light up, the earrings that look like giant ornaments, Santa hats, reindeer ears, Rudolph noses and outrageous lawn decorations…it’s all good ‘cause it’s a party!
*Yes, that also includes dogs dressed as elves, Santa, Rudolph, little Christmas trees, or Max from the Grinch…obnoxious is acceptable this time of year!
*I can say that because I bought shirts for my dogs that look like candy-canes…at the dollar section of Target, I might add.
*Speaking of Target, it’s where I went with my daughter to buy her first Christmas tree and decorations for her college apartment…I didn’t ask Santa for this and that lump of coal felt like it was in my throat.
*Austin and I have a tradition of watching certain Christmas videos together: Annabelle’s Wish, Opus and Bill in A Wish for Wings that Work, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph and others…we’re sentimental and always get choked up no matter how many times we’ve seen them. (We just finished Opus…tears)
*We have traditions that are special and timeless…not fancy or formal, just simple and enduring.
If we take a peek we can find the gifts of Christmases long ago, of recent memory, currently and even those to come. Our expectations may be one thing, and what shows up may be another, but there is still joy to be found. Just the thought of the Hope that Mary held in her arms is gift enough. Hmm…enough is an insufficient word. Everything is more like it. He came, He gave, and He was and is…Everything.
“Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:14