The holiday season invokes mixed emotions for me. During the Santa Claus period of my life I became conflicted. I used to peruse the department store big books that came in the mail. You must know I was ninety miles from the closest mall so there was no meandering around the stores with a gleam in my eye. If I did not see something on television or in one of the catalogs I did not know it existed. It was a truncated look at the outside world fueled by whoever had the most advertising dollar. I used to make a wish list nonetheless. And every year it seemed my wish list was not even considered. I did not know who this Santa Claus person was but it seemed to me he had not a care about what I might desire to be under the tree Christmas morning. Now, that is not to say I was not pleasantly surprised each year. However, it always left me wondering why I never received anything I asked for. I always received great gifts but I was also left wanting.
Another issue was the fact that I lived in a neighborhood that did not have any other kids my age. My sister is eight years younger than me. Even though we were together, we were worlds apart. My parents were weird. They would get me board games for Christmas. Something you needed two or more players to play. Yet, they would not play the games with me. Have you ever tried to get a four year old to play Monopoly? I would be told to play with my sister. Whenever we played together it eventually meant that, because of her height, she would hit me in a very sensitive area, I would push her to the ground, she would cry and I would get sent to my room. It was a room devoid of console game systems, computers, music players, phones or even a television. It was just me and my imagination with a record player, a few children’s albums, and some 45 records I was able to scrounge up enough money every now and then to purchase.
My mother was raised Methodist. My father was raised Baptist. Somewhere along the way they decided that religion would not be a prominent part of our lives. The only time I saw my father in a church was when there was a funeral. The only happy occasion was wedding for my cousin. I used to go to non-denominational service just to get out of the house. All this to say there was no Christ in our Christmases. Now several decades later, me with no children, I wonder if I do have kids how will I handle the holidays season. I understand the want to let children have their fantasies and freedom from worldly things and keeping their innocence but at what costs? I have seen people fret about money for months after the commercial Christmas that is more focused on things than on Christ. Even for me, a person that is not very religious, I still have an appreciation for the history behind these types of important events in our lives. The one absolute that I have learned through the years is what would be the best gift you could give anyone. I have received some very awesome and very poor gifts. I have seen kids rip through packages like a rabid dogs rummaging through refuse looking for scraps of anything edible. The memory of a tangible gift seems to fade with time. Even a great meal can be all but forgotten over the years. The one thing that increases its perceived value with time is just that, time. I have found that spending time with people is the greatest gift a person can give of themselves. I cannot go back and change how my childhood was. What I can do is be more diligent about how I spend my future holidays that will be gifted to me. I will still give gifts but they will be ones that I hope will be thought of as more heartfelt and wonderful as time goes on. To help ensure this, each gift will be given with a promise of my time.
~Melik www. me2upro . com