Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Best Gift


For some people, an ideal holiday might resemble a Thomas Kinkade painting and whatever the people who lived in said painting would do over the holidays. The holidays are a time for family to get together, to share memories and create new ones, get dressed up and eat a fancy dinner, and give thanks for the wonderful people and things in your life. Maybe you even a few needed items or fun gifts. A holiday that includes all of these things is usually marked as a pretty good one. When you’re a kid, Christmas is obviously about presents.

When I was seven I got the best Christmas gift I could’ve asked for- besides a dog. It came a few days early and it included a free pass to wear the clothes, eat the food, and play the games I wanted. It meant I could skip church and didn’t have to sit and visit politely with family. I got to stay home and play by myself. What was this gift, you’re asking? Chicken pox. Yes, the year I had chicken pox over Christmas turned out to be one of my favorites.

Like many American mothers, mine wanted that idyllic holiday look for the family. Ruffled dresses, tights, hair barrettes and cutesy patent leather shoes with little buckles were all part of my typical holiday attire. It was miserable and awful and I would’ve rather eaten slugs. So, when the great chicken pock-alypse of 1995 struck, it was, well, better than Christmas. I seized the opportunity and expressed my list of demands- I would soak in the bathtub for as long as I pleased, there would be no ruffles or tights, they would be substituted for the cowboy boots and Barney sweat suit I loved so dearly, rather than visit with family I would sit quietly by myself in my room and play with the toy pirate ship we had- withOUT supervision. No family member was to pinch my face or tousle my hair and I could eat kid food that I wanted instead of the gross (in actuality, fancy and delicious) grown-up food my mother slaved over the stove for days to make. (Yes, I was kind of an a-hole kid.) The holiday came and went just like the chicken pox and I returned to school with stories of conquering the first grade plague and receiving the best gift of all.

Not everybody’s holiday will be like a Kinkade painting and some could be genuinely crummy but what’s important is to make the best of what you have and live in the moment! Who knows, it could end up being your favorite memory.

What are some of your favorite holiday memories? What was your best gift? How about worst gift? Disaster stories? Success stories? Share them!

Some of my preferred attire- cowboy boots, vest.

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