With Christmas only a week away at this point, I am often finding myself reminiscing about the Christmas’s of my past — really, I’ve been thinking about the presents.
I take motherly pride in attempting to grant my kids all their wishes at Christmas. Within reason, of course. Each child gets to ask Santa for three presents — Santa then chooses whether or not the present is a viable option (we like to keep things systematized at my house). But, they seem to be happy each year, so I guess Santa’s choices are ok.
I had some great Christmas gifts when I was a kid. There are a few though, that I really remember . When I was probably around four years old, I have a distinct memory of getting an umbrella for Christmas. It must have been the greatest umbrella in the world because I still remember it. I remember seeing it wrapped under the tree — and, I’m pretty sure the shape of it didn’t give it away to my four-year old self because it was the excitement at opening it as opposed to just seeing it that I remember the most. It was purple. There were polka dots.
When I was around nine, I got the most ridiculously cool race track. It came with three cars. My sister and her husband stayed up on Christmas Eve to assemble it for me (I learned this later in life). I played with that track so often that the metal clips holding it together wore out. My father, being an engineer, replaced the metal clips and attached the whole track to plywood. I was in college before I finally let my mother throw it out.
I also have distinct memories of the presents that weren’t under the tree. Two come to my memory immediately — an Atari and a moped. Oh, how I longed for that Atari. My best friend had one and we would play for hours. That little maze game was the best. The moped, well, I still haven’t let that go. My best friend and I were the only ones who did not have a moped. We had to watch all the other kids ride around the neighborhood and out to the lake — hoping someone would let us get on the back (there really wasn’t a back to moped’s when they first came out — it was more of a stand up on the pegs thing). I vow, every year, to buy myself a moped and ride it around the neighborhood.
I think it’s important to keep some things the same. The Christmas after my grandmother died, some fourteen years ago, we all still got gifts from her. And last year, my mother put her and my father’s name on all the gifts — and told my kids it was from their Poppy. I know what my mom would want me to do this year, she would want to have her name on some gifts. So, I think I will pick out some special ones and make them from her. Maybe the kids will remember those presents as they get older — maybe the memories won’t fade.
One of my father’s biggest fears was that his grandkids wouldn’t remember him — he was afraid they were too young to hold on to the memories. So maybe a gift from him for a few more years will keep his fear from being a reality — for now.
It’s strange how the memory of certain gifts stay with us… make the memory that much more real. Sometimes our memories are tied to the presents, and that’s ok. Especially if you are a kid, waking up on Christmas day.