Friday, December 26, 2008

How do you feel about that?

When I was in high school, I was heavily involved in the drama club. I worked on, or had a part in every single play we did for the whole 4 years of high school. We put on 2 plays each year, one big musical, and one other play. My freshman year the 'other' play was called 'Due to a Lack of Interest, Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled'. That was 1973, good times.

Fast forward to 2008. It's not drama anymore, but if I had to give a title for the holiday's here it would have been 'Due to a Lack of Funds, Christmas Has Been Cancelled'. We're grown up now and it's not really a big thing. It was just something we had to do. Kind of a no brainer really. No money equals no gifts. Simple as that. We said that the only thing we could do was put things in our Christmas stockings. Since very expensive things can be small, we changed the 'rule' to a monetary limit. Ten bucks. Can't spend over 10 bucks. Den has to have his fruitcake and cashews after all!

Den is working midnights and of course Christmas day fell on a day he had to work. That meant that he went to bed at 1pm. We were able to go to Mass in the morning and that was nice. We opened our stockings before that. Den had put in my stocking my favorite candies & treats. I got a Terry's chocolate orange (yum!), a Reese's peanut butter cup, & a small tin of salted almonds. I adore almonds! They're expensive and I never buy them for myself. Never! The last treat he had in there was a small box of Walker's shortbread cookies. Oh my that's my favorite cookie in the whole world. Again, expensive and I never ever ever ever buy them. One small thing that he'd wrapped that I almost missed was a pencil with Santas on it. Yes, he did indeed wrap a pencil.

We got home from Mass and had breakfast and then Den went off to bed. That left me to my own devices for the whole day. Friends that I could have normally visited were out and about doing things. I thought of going to the pool, but I figured it was probably full of little kids that would be here visiting grandma and grandpa and it's not much fun going to the pool by yourself on Christmas day. I decided to read my new book I'd got from the library the day before. I read the whole book. Yes, cover to cover. I took myself out for a golf cart ride in the early afternoon. That was nice as there were others out and about and I'd wave or stop for a natter. Problem with that was the heavenly smells coming from most of the houses I drove past! They were all inside cooking their Christmas dinners and ohhhhh did it smell good! I finally couldn't stand it and came back home for something to eat. Ian was done doing things on his computer by this time and took me back out for another ride. That was very nice. It really isn't any fun being by yourself on a holiday. The temperature was 81 degrees and the sun was on my face....on Christmas day!! Awesome. I hate snow as most of you know. I just loved that golf cart ride. I had shorts and a tee shirt and I was barefoot....on Christmas day! is good.

'How do you feel about that?'

You probably thought I'd forgot what I was supposed to be blogging about eh? Being a holiday, my children of course rang. I was talking to my second son and he asked what I'd got for Christmas. I told him about the Santa pencil that his Dad had put in my stocking. 'A pencil?', he asked. I said 'oh yes, it's got tiny little Santas all over it. 'Oh', he said. There was silence at his end. 'Hello?', I said, thinking the call had been dropped. That's when he said 'how do you feel about that?'. It took me a bit by surprise and I had to stop and think about it.

I was talking to Silverback a few weeks ago about being sad that we couldn't have a big, gift giving, Christmas. He said just because there are no gifts doesn't mean it's not Christmas. Well, yes it does, to me, I said. He said that would mean I was just in it it for the gifts I'd get, the commercial aspect. No, that wasn't it at all. I of course couldn't explain what I meant very well. I love surprises. Christmas is all about surprises. You don't know what you're going to get. I love the anticipation of buying something, wrapping it, and waiting for it to be unwrapped. I love unwrapping too! I admit it. I love pressies! They don't have to be expensive gifts, though I like those too! I just love the thought that someone thought of me, took the time to get something, wrap it up, and present it to me. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

My 50th birthday was in October and we didn't do gifts for that either. It fell on a Monday. I go to coffee hour at 7am on a Monday. On my way there, the lady down the street came running out of her house. She shouted 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!', and gave me a pot scrubbie. You see, she crochets pot scrubbies and they're awesome for, well, scrubbing pots. It made my whole day. She made the effort, it was a surprise, she thought of me. How awesome is that? The nicest part was when she said 'I'm sorry it's purple and not pink, I didn't have any pink (insert the type of stuff she uses to make the scrubbies here as I can't remember what it's called). Wow, how cool is that that she knew my favorite color was pink? See, it's really not the price of the gift to me at all, it's just the lovely, fuzzy, glow I get knowing I'm thought of.

How did I feel about receiving a pencil for Christmas?

I felt loved.

I felt thought about.

I felt special.


Luanne said...

Have you read the book "The 5 Love Languages"? Sounds as though your love language is Gifts.

I loved your post. I wish somehow we could all get a grasp on life like that.

I remember one of the first Christmas presents Ed gave me when we were dating was a crystal rosary (not real crystal). All my friends got steady sweaters (were you old enough to know what those were?) Thats what I wanted Ed to buy me, but his mother talked him into buying me the rosary because she noticed that I was always saying mine during mass. (that was when the Mass was in Latin and I didn't know what was going on.)

Anyway, I was mad at his mother for her suggestion but I was more embarrassed telling my friends what Ed had given me.

Well guess what. Not one of my friends has their steady sweater any longer, but I still have my rosary! Plus last year it occured me how touched I was that my mother in law had seen something in me that she thought was admirable and wanted to enhance.

Keep that pencil, it's a wonderful reminder of the time Den took wrapping it up to surprise you. It may become even more special as time goes by.

Debby said...

Luanne, we didn't have steady sweaters. If you were 'going steady', the boy would give you his varsity jacket though.

One Christmas, 1988 to be exact, there was a huge box under the Christmas tree. I wanted a roll top desk and it had to be put together. I just knew that box was that desk. I opened the box with much anticipation and it was a set of pots and pans! I was dumbfounded. Pots and pans??? You got me pots and pans as a gift?? I don't need pots and pans! I got over it of course and years later, I'm still using a few of the pans. I made popcorn in the 2 quart pan until just this past summer when it popped its last kernel. I haven't made popcorn since as I just don't know what to pop it in! We never use the pans that we don't remember that Christmas and we laugh.

I bet you never use that rosary without thinking of that Christmas and Ed either.

Rosanna said...

I love this walk down memory lane and this much needed take on putting things into perspective... it's not the gifts, it's not what the gifts are... it's the thought and the manner in how the gift is given...

and in my house it wouldn't be Christmas without Chocolate oranges...