I agonize over Christmas gifts. I spend hours trying to find that one thing that really means something to the individual I am shopping for. Sometimes, believe it or not, it’s homemade and I spend hours doing something I’m not really good at in the first place.
Why do I do this to myself? Well….Like everything else, I’m sure it goes back to my childhood. Being one of nine children to middle-class, blue-collar working parents, my mom worked like crazy to make Christmas special. We didn’t get a lot of gifts, but hey, 2 times 9 = 18 so it seemed like a lot of presents under the tree!
She started by giving us the wonderful Sears catalog that came about a month before Christmas. We kids would pour over that publication, day and night, carefully marking all the wonderful things we knew Santa would want to give us.
My mom did an amazing job with the little she had and I’m sure, like me, she made herself crazy making that one day special for all of us. One tradition she had was to NEVER put anything under the tree until Christmas Eve when we were all asleep. I remember going to my friends’ homes and seeing beautifully wrapped presents appearing under their trees for days leading up to Christmas. These were, of course, gifts from relatives and friends and they looked so beautiful.
But not my mom! Everything waited until Christmas Eve and now I know why…she wanted Christmas morning to be magical to us. And it was! It was never how many presents we got, if we had the real Barbie doll or if Santa forgot the Easy Bake Oven, it was just how wonderful Christmas is. We were awed!
(Believe it or not, I did the same thing for years and it was a lot of fun…. at first. I don’t do that anymore).
So while I don’t knock myself out for Christmas morning anymore, I still look for that special something. I’ve learned over the years, not to kill myself doing this (like I don’t do home-made anymore), but I’ll pick up that certain something and know, in my heart, it may not be the perfect gift but I was thinking about you.