The other day on a workday about 2:00 PM, I went out to run a couple of errands. The traffic in the shopping areas was a congested mess. People were everywhere. I could imagine that many of these people were stressed and impatient, hardly in the “holiday spirit”. I buy very few gifts for Christmas. My wife takes care of that “duty” for the most part. Partly it’s because I’m lazy, but mostly it’s because I don’t know what to give people who already have more than they need. It all seems so pointless. I’ve seen the lines in the stores after Christmas too; people returning all those thoughtful gifts they don’t want.
As a child my family travelled to visit my maternal grandparents twice a year; once in the summer and once at Christmas. I’m sure I loved tearing open the packages and getting all the stuff. The funny thing is with very few exceptions I don’t remember what any of that stuff was. What I do remember fondly are the experiences I had with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The only gift I clearly remember was a go-cart (one that operated on gravity not a motor). The reason I remember it was because I remember the experience of racing those go-carts with my cousins down the hill on the street in front of my grandparents home on Christmas morning. That’s it.
I have many memories of Christmas dinners and endless games. My mother’s family loved games and we played them all the time. Not purchased games, but the standard card and domino games. I remember playing tennis with my cousin who was the same age. I remember my aunt always kissing me because she knew I hated it. I remember endless hours of those experiences, but I don’t remember what Santa brought.
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