It’s that time of the year.. sleigh bells ringing, children laughing, snow is falling..
Usually I’ve purchased everything and have mountains of presents under the tree by this point in time.. but, this year.. just not feeling it.
There was a time when I’d make pajamas for my kids and all the neices and nephews.. one year I made them all teddy bears.. Over the years – back when I was Martha freakin’ Stewart — I used to can salsa, make marmalade, hot pepper jelly, caramel corn, wine and chocolatey delights and make gift baskets for everyone. I’ve also been known to quilt things, make ceramics, fashion some stained glass pieces, and make other forms of art.
This year…. nada. In fact, I’ve only purchased one gift.. for my ex-husband, strangely enough.
It got me to thinking why I wasn’t so “into it” this year.. maybe it’s because I don’t have my own little house to decorate. Money is certainly a consideration..
When I was young, I began being excited as soon as the Sears Wish Book came out.. circling the Barbie houses and cars and other fabulous toys that I desired. December 1st the Christmas countdown would begin.. and so would my snooping.
Every Thursday night, my parents bowled and we would be babysat by a lovely girl named Valley.. a pretty girl, but with terrible acne as I recall.. poor thing. I’m pretty sure that she thought I was the best kid in the world to babysit as I’d stay upstairs playing all night.
Unbeknownst to her, I was in my parents bedroom closet, opening their suitcases.. where they had hidden all the Santa gifts. I’d carefully take all the Barbies out of their boxes, play with them.. then put them back into the boxes before my parents got home. Mind you, my Thursday night ritual came to a halt when one of the neighbourhood kids went home crying after I told her there wasn’t any Santa and your parents bought all the gifts. Never could keep my mouth shut.
Even knowing exactly what I was getting for Christmas didn’t spoil it for me… I’d still be up at about 4am… MAKING my sister Barb get up with me (How on EARTH could she STILL be sleeping???) Sneaking downstairs to get first look at our gifts…
One year.. when I still believed in the Jolly Old Elf.. I decided that the display of gifts wasn’t quite equitable and moved some things around.. or more correctly.. helped myself to a few of the things my sisters were to get and put them in my pile (Our Santa didn’t wrap gifts..) The next morning my mother assured me that the things I had moved were for my sisters. #FAIL. HOW did she KNOW?? I remember thinking..
When my children were small, I WAS Santa Claus.. shopping for the many gifts, hiding, wrapping.. Katy was about 9 when she stopped believing but maintained she still did.. which kind of had me worried. Finally I figured out that she thought if she admitted not believing, she wouldn’t get gifts..
Of course, then there are always the Santa questions.. like, why do some kids not get anything from Santa? I explained to Katy that the parents had to pay for the gifts.. Santa couldn’t afford to just give away stuff anymore.. what with the economy and all.
Having so many great Christmases, I’ve found it odd that I’m not so inspired this year.. until today.
I was out walking the dogs, as is my habit… and it was quite icy out. And, despite the salt spread on the path in the park close by, it was slippery. I was heading back when we passed an old woman who was walking slowly down the walkway.. and as we went further up the path I heard her yell out..
She had slipped and fallen on the small hill at the bottom and was in a heap on the sidewalk.
I turned back with the dogs .. hooked them onto a post and struggled to help her up… but she was hurt.. and a little heavier than me.. so it was difficult.
A passing motorist noticed me trying to help her and he stopped.. and another car stopped as well.
This nice man, who appeared to be on his way to work, helped me get her to her feet.. and then he offered to drive her wherever she wanted so she’d avoid falling again. She appreciated the help and said yes, she’d take a ride home as she appeared to have hurt her ankle.
She thanked us both profusely, “god blessed us” .. and wished me a very happy Christmas. And her new friend gave her a ride as I walked back home.
Which makes me believe again.. in the kindness of strangers.. that two people in cars stopped to help. In the spirit of the season… the joy, the love, the caring.
Because, really.. isn’t that what Santa is all about?Life: Things are going well Love: I really do love Christmas.. I know I’ll feel more into it soon..
Pants: all too big.. better put that on my “wish list”