tagNon-EroticBest Christmas Present Ever

Best Christmas Present Ever

byTara_Neale©

All of my friends know one thing about me...I am about the least materialistic person ever. When I am home in America, I love Wal-Mart. I make no apologies for shopping at PoundLand. My preference for getting stuff is...find it, given it second hand, make it, buy it from the charity shop. So Christmas is a real challenge for me. When someone asks what I want for Christmas, my answer is either 'nothing' or something very practical like my lovely new sewing machine that the kids bought me this year (for my new business making plus size fetish wear). And when buying presents...well that is a challenge too because usually what I want to get people are way beyond my budget. Not because I want to impress but because giving from my heart is breathing to me.

I know we all complain that Christmas has gotten too commercial. In these times of greed gone wild, iPad, iPhone, Kindles and gadgets galore, it seems that the real meaning of Christmas is lost. Don't get me wrong...not THAT meaning. I have long since outgrown my childhood indoctrination into Christianity. Jesus was a good man and likely a prophet of his times, but I too am a prophet in mine and shit I hardly celebrate my birthday why am I going to his? No, the true meaning of Christmas is giving of ourselves. Like that prophet showed us.

The past week has been really bad for that very reason. Granted, I am easy. The kids asked what I wanted and got me the sewing machine I wanted. And I love it. But they are driving me crazy with one another. My older daughter bought her brother a Kindle Fire. So he felt he had to outdo her. He asked me what he should get her. I responded that she always complains about not having a boyfriend at the holidays because she wants jewelry (No, I do NOT know where she gets that from). So he decides on a necklace and locket. She tells him, 'anything but gold...white gold or silver, but not yellow gold.' What does he get...yellow gold, because he felt everything else was too cheap. Now she planned a wonderful family night out with the three of us to see my favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard, re-released in the theater. Except when she came over, he shows her the necklace. She said, 'it's gold, take it back.' Mind you, he has bought the Princess, my younger daughter, a bike, a nice one and is having to repaint it pink already. So poor baby is thoroughly fed up with his ungrateful sisters, so he explodes and refuses to go with us to dinner and the movie. He spent all day yesterday, his one day off, painting bikes and returning necklaces. And his sister bought him a new phone to go with his Fire.

The whole thing reminds me of one of my favorite short stories, O Henry's 'The Gift of the Magi.' I would summarize it for you, but if you have not read, you really ought to. I am sure in this day and age of computers and e-readers you can find it somewhere for free. Thing is that story was written well over a hundred a years ago, so I guess all this fuss about Christmas being too commercial is nothing new. And like the characters in that story, we have made it to the point of laughing about this fuss...mostly.

So you know I love my sewing machine. And I will never forget the year that my older daughter brought her little brother over for Christmas. I do not want to sound ungrateful for those or any other wonderful presents, but this is the story of my BEST Christmas present ever. So what was it, you ask?

I was six years old and as little girls do I had my first real crush. You know the kind...not on Donny Osmond or Michael Jackson, but on a real live boy this time. There was this guy at church. He was eighteen or nineteen. Being a good Southern boy, he even had two names...Lee Earl. The amazing thing was how sweet he was to the gap toothed little kid. I remember that summer my mother had put my hair up in curlers for the first time. It was horrible: these tight curls all over my head that no matter how much you brushed them would do nothing. But nothing did me except walk up to his house and show Lee Earl. He said something about me being a real beauty when I grew up and my world was perfect.

Anyway, it was Christmas Eve. Lee Earl comes over and brings me a present. I unwrapped it to discover a Barbie doll. This was the early 70s so she was just a Barbie; no special teachers or doctors or princesses or whatever is popular. Barbie was just Barbie back then. So what makes all that memorable you ask? The fact that this older boy took the time to think of that little kid who had a crush on him was nice, but what makes it unforgettable is that a couple of days before he had discovered his mother unconscious on the kitchen floor. An aneurism had burst in her head. They had removed life support that morning. This young man, who had just lost his mother, remembered that silly little girl and took the time in all his pain to bring the Christmas present (that in all probability his mother had gotten me). All my Barbie dolls got lost in one of my moves as a young adult and I am sure that she was among them. But even though she is long gone, the care that went into her lives forever in my heart.

What do I want most this Christmas? Exactly what I have been enjoying the past couple of weeks...to be surrounded with family and friends. I have cleaned the house too many times to count, had friends over close to half a dozen times and cooked. Then cleaned some more after they left. People are what matter to me. And hopefully to you too.

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byTara_Neale© 7 comments/ 19419 views/ 1 favorites

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