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2003-12-10 | |
As soon as the spider webs, ghosts, vampires, witches and all the other Halloween decorations are put down in stores across America, the race for the perfect Christmas gift begins. That gives everybody at least a month and a half of continuous shopping but the truth of the matter is most of us wake up three days before the holidays with no cards, no gifts, and no clue as to what the people we're shopping for want for Christmas.
You run around frantically like a race horse, small beads of sweat running down your spine, stacked with bags and boxes, buying everything in sight that looks glamorous or shiny, wrapping it nicely then looking for an appropriate Christmas card to go with that.
If you're a man your hardest choice will be deciding between a perfume for her and a piece of jewelry even though that's what you bought on her birthday and on your anniversary.
If you're a woman, you're sure to spend half of your time in front of the card stand, loving those funny ones like:
Picture from: cards.artie.com
but in the end getting a more traditional one, like the one at the beginning of this article.
With a kid you can't go wrong (or at least that's what you think). A pair of gloves and a stuffed animal and you're done. See how easy that was? He might be the kind of child that loves to read and he'll be thrilled if he gets a book but hey, it's three days before Christmas, you still have to cook dinner for 10 people, get a manicure, get your hair done and "hunt" for the perfect outfit to wear for the Christmas party. He'll just have to wait for next year.
As a child I used to think: "If nobody ever sees Santa Claus how come they all know what he looks like?" I imagined there was a different one out there, one that -if you were the best child in the whole world- would come to your house, have dinner with you and your parents, sing carols and at night kiss you on your forehead and tuck you in bed.
When I was seven, I stayed wide awake waiting for him, wanting to talk to him and at least give him a hug if he would let me. I heard noises and peeking from under the covers I saw my grandfather putting my presents under the Christmas tree. "So that is it!", I thought, my grandpa is Santa, what other explanation could there be? He fit the description perfectly and he did all those things that my "different" Santa, the one I wished for, did. I was sure that after I went to bed he would leave the house to go around the world and give presents to everybody else.
I don't know if I was the best kid in the whole world that night but I was definitely one of the happiest.
Joy like that can't be bought in stores, you can't put it in a box or wrap it up with a big red bow on top, but it stays with you for the rest of your life, bringing a smile on your lips and a wave of happiness and nostalgia in your heart every time you remember it. And that, I think, is the perfect Christmas gift.
title picture from: www.americaschristmascards.com
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