It’s been a busy week around our city. Christmas decorations are not just in the stores, but all around the town. Santa arrived last Saturday to take orders from his faithful disciples.
The reindeer herd is back on the circle as are all the colorful lights. Broadway looks lovely in its Christmas dress. The Betty Worster Memorial Wreaths are a nice topping on our downtown buildings.
It’s early yet, so people are wearing happy smiles as they browse and shop among the merchandise the stores display and hope we’ll buy before Christmas.
I know people who have their Christmas shopping all done, wrapped and ready to distribute. I’m not one of them. I did get ahead of myself just a little bit last summer. When Bill’s sister visited I bought her gift, wrapped it, and sent it home with her so I wouldn’t have to mail it to Florida in December.
Last week I sent her a card and asked her if I really did that or if it was just a fantasy. She sent me an e-mail to confirm that she had her gift and would not open it ‘til Christmas. I can hardly wait to find out what we got her because I’ve already forgotten.
When our children were little I just bought whatever seemed appropriate for the various age levels throughout the year whenever it was on sale, and I spent the weeks before Christmas convincing them that’s what they wanted. It usually worked.
As they got older I decided just to wait and buy what they actually wanted. Unfortunately I hid some of them so well that they are still being found. Then I decided to make lists of which gifts I bought for which kid. I still haven’t found some of the lists.
One mother told me she took her little boys shopping with her to buy their cousins” gifts.
Then she bought duplicates of the boys’ choices for Santa to bring to her boys. After her little ones were safely in bed she unloaded the van and hid the toys for her two, leaving the cousins’ gifts out to be wrapped.
The next morning she found the 5-year-old looking longingly at the cousins’ toys. ”What’s the matter?” she asked him.
Almost tearfully he replied, “I just want to play with them so bad.”
She told me, “And I just wanted to give them to him. But I guess he has to learn that sometimes we have to wait for things we want.” And I realized that that’s a lesson we don’t just learn once, but over and over, whether we are the givers or the receivers.
That same 5-year-old strolled into the kitchen last week and announced, “I don’t believe in fairies any more.”
“Okay,” his mom casually responded.
“I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny either,” he added.
“Oh, really,” his mom replied. “What made you decide that?”
“ I just figured it out for myself,” he answered.
His mom worked on, fully expecting him to announce he didn’t believe in Santa Claus anymore either, but he didn’t. She finally figured out for herself that if he’s smart enough to figure out there aren’t any tooth fairies, and there is no Easter Bunny, he’s probably smart enough to wait until after Christmas to announce he no longer believes in Santa Claus.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate Nov. 22, 2000.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.