“What was that?” I asked my older brother as we heard a noise or crackle from our chimney. “Did you hear that?” I said again. My brother gasped, just looked at me, baffled, not understanding whether to believe what I THOUGHT to be true. We looked back down on our piece of papers, and feverishly started to update our Christmas list. I was sort of freaking out because it could very well have been Santa on top of our chimney. If I didn’t get my list done, he wouldn’t be able to get us our presents the next morning. Talk about procrastination! I think we had about 10 items on our list each. My mother came up behind us and said “uh….Santa is not getting you all that and you both are supposed to be in bed. Write down the top TWO items you talked to me about a couple weeks ago, the items you REALLY wanted, and I am sure Santa will get the job done.”
TWO? Two items from the TEN on our list? That sort of sucks!(mentality of a 6 year old) However, I thought…ok. Better than nothing and at least I’ll get the two items I really wanted for Christmas. Both my brother and I were determined to stay up late….especially since we already thought he was on top of our roof. So we got our list ready. I grabbed a small plate of vanilla wafers and my brother brought a glass of milk. This was the best bribe we could think of to possibly get more items on Christmas morning 🙂 Heck…it worked on all those commercials we saw!
We waited…and waited….and waited. Seemed like forever. Somehow we found ourselves in our bunk beds. We must have fallen asleep and I vaguely remember my dad carrying me up to my bed.
Though I was tired, I woke up in the middle of the night…wondering….in fact praying that I would hear some noise down stairs…or even a jingle. This was the ONLY day of the year where I felt comfortable thinking in this way. Any other time I heard a noise downstairs, would have terrified me!
We woke up on Christmas morning, and voila! Wrapped presents everywhere! My brother and I were ecstatic! My parents watched us as we ripped open each one. My dad proudly watched with a smile on his face as he sipped his coffee.(probably not knowing what my mom got us for Christmas as it would have been a total surprise for him as well…besides…it didn’t matter as “Santa” brought them anyway :))
Our childhood Christmas memories were wonderful. I was so excited to hang up the ornaments we made at school. My brother and I would melt plastic beads to a small metal frame shaped like a train or Santa Clause. We’d have to wait about 10 minutes until the plastic was completely melted and let the frame cool before we could handle it and wrap it up as a present for our parents.
I loved the “art” part of school. I just loved “making” stuff. Over the years we had made so many ornaments. It’s funny…even now as a grown man and as I think of those wonderful moments years ago, I relive those memories as I hang those very same ornaments on our parents Christmas tree each year from 37 years ago. Time flies.
The smell of the pine trees(yes…we actually bought trees back then), walking in the snow, hanging up lights on our bushes and door frames. It all seemed so incredibly magical. Now we are so connected online that I feel we miss the organic nature of the Christmas Holiday. What it’s like to go outside and work with our hands, join a Christmas carol or two….and frankly, just be kind to people. Have a little humanity. To give a little in whatever way we can.
The world is filled with negative news and bad things happening and every Holiday season is an excuse to take pause and be grateful for what we have….or if things are not so great, find a way to make things better for one self.
I hope to pass these values on to my kids. To allow them to enjoy the Christmas Holiday for what it is meant to be. To not just receive but to give first. Feel what it’s like to make other people happy. To care, to help, and to grow into men that can help make this world a better place.
I wish you all a wonderful, safe, and eventful Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season!
Thanks for hanging with me. Arvind