To say that I over-looked a few things this Christmas is an understatement. For my son, I had Santa’s gift covered but somehow I forgot to get a gift that would be from us, his parents. I didn’t even think about it until I was driving home after Christmas Eve mass. Whoops!! Fortunately for me, the hub pulled thru and saved me. He gave up the Sleep Number Pillow that was a gift to him. Re-gifting at it’s finest. My son had been asking for a new pillow for a over a year so it was a really big hit. Otherwise, my son was getting cold, hard cash in an envelope just like I would get as a kid. Thankfully, things happen for a reason.
I also forgot to buy Christmas cards for my mom and the hub. Crap! This is what I get for buying cards for my kids early - back in November. I had forgotten that I didn’t like the cards for mothers and husbands at the dollar store so I was supposed to shop around since I had plenty of time. Whoops!! At 3p on Christmas Eve I ran to Walgreens where the only cards left were the $6.99+ cards and there was no way I was buying any of those! Usually, for me, desperate times calls for desperate measures so forking over that much per card wouldn’t have even been a question. But for these two people in my life, it was a matter of principle. For one, the hub barely reads cards regardless of how much they cost and two, even though my mom would have saved her card for 20 years, she would be mad that I spent that much on a card. Nope, I wasn’t going to buy any of those cards. I left Walgreens apprehensive but I knew if I sat still long enough, something would come up.
By midnight on Christmas Eve, I still hadn’t figured out the card situation. I started to clean up before bedtime when I came across a pad of paper that the kids used called Hey, Santa! by Knock Knock. I don’t know what came over me but I decided this would be a great way to express my feelings and solve the card situation. Before I wrote anything on the pad, I thought a lot about the person I was writing to and I felt this sort of peace - knowing that this was what Christmas was all about. Back in the day, it was only about the heartfelt wishes you gave to your family and friends and not about what gifts you gave to them.
At about 130am on Christmas morning I texted my brother: “It might sound weird, even crazy. But sometimes I wished I was going back to St. Martin’s midnight mass. It was so easy back then. Life was easy. Traditions were easy. Being a parent is a big weight sometimes. This holiday gets lost.” I know, I know - the years of being both Santa and a parent are very few - I shouldn’t complain. I’m pretty sure every parent with teenage kids is nodding in agreement. But I can’t help but think that as our Christmas came and went, the prep work for it was so laborious it felt like the day after a wedding. Days and weeks of details for one day and then it’s over. The tissue paper that seemed so important to make gifts look super (can’t even be recycled and has to go in the trash) is in piles and is now more like a nuisance. I thought about my thoughtful pinch/impromptu cards. It would be great if I could just give a wish list instead of bunches of wrapped gifts. And wish lists wouldn’t only have to be for Christmas. There should be wish lists for New Year’s, birthdays, Get Well, weddings etc. There is an endless amount of occasions that a wish list would be well-received. The thoughtfulness of taking the time to think about the person and share your wishes for them is a pinch that doesn’t require wrapping paper or tissue paper. Did I mention, I didn’t have to shop for this pinch - not at a store nor online?
We gave our cards to each other at the breakfast table. I think the thoughtful pinches/impromptu cards were a success. My mom teared up (as my brother predicted) and I got a slight chuckle from the hub. I know I would treasure something like that for years and it would mean more to me than any Luis Vuitton or Peloton bike. But then again, I shouldn’t complain.