Real Quick Christmas Story, #1
When I was seven or eight, I bought my dad a Christmas present, a plastic jar of his favorite candy, Bit-O-Honey, with a ribbon around it. Plastic jars of candy with Christmas ribbons around them have never been given as Christmas gifts with any genuine love with that single exception. I was so excited to give that gift. I told my dad I was more excited about giving him that jar of candy than I was about opening presents for myself. Probably an overstatement, but I have always remembered that feeling of first realizing giving gifts could be as exciting as receiving them.
I found that candy jar at my dad’s house when I was living there for a few months a few years ago, and I pointed it out to him and told him that story. He nodded and also seemed to remember that Christmas, but it wasn’t until after he died and I was reading one of his journals, that it finally dawned on me that that empty candy jar didn’t just happen to be sitting on a shelf somewhere at my dad’s house. My dad wasn’t religious but he had an existentialist’s appreciation of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and in his journal, he referenced that Jesus taught that it is better to give than to receive. My dad wrote, “I keep that candy jar, to remind me of when that lesson became important in my son’s life.”
Real Quick Christmas Story, #2
Just moved into my new house and I have my dad’s old record player. (I also have a victrolla, a tube TV, and a collection of video tapes. No one standing in my living room would guess it was 2012.) My sister’s housewarming present was at my mom’s and had been turned into a housewarming/Christmas present. I was on the phone with my sister and asked if she knew what ever happened to the vinyl copy of Tori Amos’s second album, Under the Pink, which my sister had gotten me a long time ago as a present. Finally in possession of a player, I wanted the record. There was an awkward pause, and then my sister said, “I have it. You left it with me, since I had a record player.” I told her I’d have to get it from her, now that I had a record player. There was another awkward pause and then she said, “Okay.”
The next day, a thought got in my head that slowly grew into a certainty. My awesome sister, who knew I’d just moved into my new house, with a record player, thought to mail me that Tori Amos vinyl (all pink, by the way) of Under the Pink as a housewarming present. Well, I opened her gift this morning and it was something else entirely! But wouldn’t have that made a great Christmas story?
Thank you all so much for reading!