I told my daughter Beth there aren’t any surprises in Christmas any more. I remember more surprises in earlier years.
This is partly due to the fact that we fortunately have everything we need. Aren’t we blessed?
Beth said at Christmas you ask for things you can’t buy yourself, which eliminates surprises. Good point, Beth.
I keep a list of things I want on a notecard. To date, it only contains a new Teflon skillet.
Well, there is that new sewing and embroidery editing software, but I’m waiting to see if my sewing buddies like it first. If so, it can make my birthday list in April.
Three out of my immediate family members have birthdays in January – Beth and my husband, Tommy, just two weeks after Christmas and Anne at the end of the month. Her husband, Chris, has his only a week later, making everything come at once for them.
The good news is they can ask for what they didn’t get at Christmas; the bad news is, again, it all comes at once.
For the past few years, I have tried to buy them something special in the summertime to balance it out.
When we were younger, we were lucky to receive any gifts at all. Surprises were determined by the amount of money scraped together by Mother and Daddy – possibly supplemented by generous relatives – and we learned not to ask for things.
What Santa Claus brought was what he found on sale at a local department store (no Targets or Dick’s Sporting Goods back then). And you were lucky if it fit. If it didn’t, you were lucky to find anything at all upon return.
We had good years too.
Once I got a 45 rpm record player with a recording of “My Fair Lady.”
I probably would have preferred Elvis Presley at the time, though later my older sister Carroll bought us records from jobs she had as a teenager.
Then there was the Lerner and Lowe songbook thoughtfully chosen by my dad.
I still glance at his inscription inside dated 1964 – the year I graduated from high school – as it remains as one of the rare relics of his handwriting. I’m not sure if the songbook is what I wanted, but I treasure it to this day.
All of our children will be with us this Christmas and interestingly enough none has asked for anything very specific.
Beth has casually mentioned gift certificates to local spas and her husband, Alex, has mentioned a GPS navigation device (anyone who has car would like this gift in my opinion).
John said he doesn’t want anything, and he seems to mean it.
And because Anne has mentioned a watch, which is so personal, a gift card is in order.
Chris, who has lived the seven years of his married life in New York City, has been more specific.
Here is Chris’s list:
1. A new job (He is still employed by Lehman Brothers – the company that went bankrupt.)
2. Two new cars, preferably BMWs
3. Down payment for a house
4. Gift certificate for babysitters every Saturday night for 52 weeks
5. Khaki pants (Yes, I’m that nerd.)
6. Good BBQ
7. Tickets to a New York sports game
8. Bonnaroo tickets (Just kidding; never again.)
I hope Chris gets some of those things next year, preferably from those at the top of the list.
I also hope that you get both what you wish for and some surprises.
And I hope those poor distraught family members in Newtown, Conn., can find a spark of comfort somewhere too.
‘Til next week.