The more things change the more they stay the same, especially at Christmas time.
One evening last week our 7-year-old granddaughter and her mom stopped in to visit.
During the course of the conversation our daughter said, “Is there anything, not too expensive, you would like for a little Christmas surprise. The kids want to get a little something for you for a surprise.”
I knew my husband had said he spent all his money on one gift, and figured he had sent our daughter out on a mission to make sure I had more gifts to unwrap. So I tried to think of something which would fill the bill but not break the billfold.
While all this was going on the granddaughter kept trying to interrupt, “Mom, uh Mom…” Finally she just blurted out, “We already got her something. I know because I wrapped it. Remember?”
I thought maybe I could save the moment, so I asked, “What did you get me?”
“I’m not allowed to tell you!” she said with a “well-duh” look.
When her mom was that age she helped me wrap presents. Everybody knew what they were getting for Christmas. She chased them down to break the good news.
Sunday the preschoolers presented their Christmas program to the parish. They get up there in front of everybody, and you can see some of them just want to go home, some want to do the program and go home, and a very few are ready to do the show.
The program begins when the first little one sees someone they know and waves. Woe to the relative who doesn’t wave back for he or she will be called by name by the waver while the rest of us chuckle.
Our 4-year-old grandson had assured his mom he was going to do a solo at the end of every hymn. It was something like a loud ascending Yoooooooooah!
We never heard the solo, however when they entered the church he and his friend were leading the procession carrying an impressive little banner. They must have an experienced Sunday School teacher. The boys were really well behaved. Nobody got hit with the banner.
The 6-year-old big brother who watched him proudly made it a point to tell everybody within hearing distance he didn’t know the blonde kid with the banner who was singing so loud.
This reminded me of the first year our oldest daughter sang “O Holy Night” in church as her Christmas solo. Her big brother’s gift that year was a new tape recorder. “Why didn’t you bring your tape recorder? I asked. His surprised response, “How was I supposed to know she’d be good!”
Every year about this time I ask my husband where is his Christmas bag from me from the previous year so I can keep his gifts separate from the others. Every year he removes some of last year’s gifts and gives me the empty bag to refill. It occurs to me I could save a lot of money by finding the bag myself and just rewrapping and giving him the same gifts again. Maybe next year.
This year he said again, “It doesn’t make any sense to wrap gifts just to unwrap them. Just shove them into the bag unwrapped.” Then he recited a list of what he thought I got him. He was right. For the first time in our marriage he had actually opened a bill and read (and memorized) it. And this year, for the first time in our marriage, I will just shove the unwrapped gifts in a bag. But it will be a pretty holiday bag.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate December 19. 2001.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.