My daughter is now of the age where she can tell me what gifts she would like for Christmas. Pretty much everything she sees is added to the growing list, but a few things have been oft repeated—Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, a bike, the three little pigs and wolf (I think she means the figures to play with), and a shopping cart.
Important question: can a three-year-old even ride a bike? Is that too young for a bike?
I remember making similar lists when I was…well, not so very young! It’s fun to dream and wish and ultimately be surprised by what’s under the Christmas tree. And though I have loved every Christmas because they are spent with my family and friends and because I am reminded of The Gift of Christmas, there is one gift that stands out. There was one Christmas I was totally surprised and blown away.
I was twelve or thirteen, I think, and my mother said we were going to U-Haul to pick up part of my Christmas present. This was on Christmas Eve, and I could not imagine what U-Haul would have that I wanted. I was probably a little bit sullen in the way that pre-teens can be.
We drove over there, and I remember asking dozens of questions, trying to get my mom to give me a hint and reminding her, not so subtly, that what I really wanted was make-up. Had I showed her the pink and blue eye shadow I needed?
We pulled into U-Haul and walked in, and I immediately figured out my gift.
WTL photos under Creative Commons license
And I was ecstatic.
My mom had rented a VCR for the week. That’s right. This was before everyone had VCRs and long, long before the DVD. This was back in the day when there were still VHS and Beta VCRs to choose from. We didn’t even have cable at my house, so having a VCR for a week was a big deal. And I got to check out two videos along with the rental. I chose The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I was in love with Harrison Ford, even though he was old enough to be my dad.
I’ll never forget that Christmas, even though it wasn’t too much longer before my dad bought us a VCR and watching a video wasn’t so special anymore.
Do you have a special memory or a best gift you’ve been given? I was born on Christmas, so my mom always says I was her best gift, though I believe there have been days when she might have taken that back!