Another Christmas has come and gone. The anticipation I felt leading up to it was fun but really only when I was observing what my children were experiencing. As a child, I had nowhere near as much as my kids do now. That’s what I tell them, that was what my Mother told me, and that was what my Grandmother told her. I wonder if in upcoming years we would be terribly sad if we could no longer put on a Christmas with all the gifts and foods we have come to expect. We say every year that it is all too much, and that we need to cut back, but if we were forced to, I’m certain we would look back longingly on our years of plenty and feel a certain amount of sadness.
Okay enough of that, the best part of the season was being together with everyone and although there were a few disappointments with the gifts given, most were received with surprise and followed up with joy. The most difficult part of the season was when I put an ornament on the tree that holds a picture of my dear cat Junior that passed away this November. His death wrapped up an era of my life, being that he was the last of my marriage’s first three pets.
On the up side, this was the first time in years that I didn’t have a clue as to what was under the tree for me. I have been a notorious snoop all my life. When we were children, my sisters relied on me completely to inform them of what they would be receiving that year. It got to the point where my Mother could not trust me at all and she decided to have a little fun. She hid all the gifts in the trunk of her car, locked it and then hid the keys. She took it one step further and set up some bags in the veranda with some second hand clothes straight out of the sixties. I was quite upset when I first found them, but as Christmas drew nearer, I overheard Mom say several times that it was going to be a tight year, and that we would all have to be very understanding. Little did I know it was all part of the ploy. By Christmas Eve, I had resolved to give my wardrobe a complete makeover and make these clothes work. I really had no idea what I was going to with the plaid bell bottoms, but I was determined to make my Mom feel loved.
I can’t tell you how surprised and overjoyed I was that Christmas when not only did I receive modern, stylish clothes, but also a Sony Walkman and my favorite album on cassette. It was the best Christmas, and the look on my Mom’s face was one of both triumph and joy.
Now, you would think that experience would have changed me from Miss Snoopy Pants into a person who enjoyed the anticipation and respectfully never snooped again. However, I inexplicably became worse. I stopped at nothing to find out what gifts were in store for me. I’ve dug through garbage to find receipts. I’ve unwrapped and very carefully rewrapped gifts. I’ve dug through underwear drawers, found those damn keys after hours of searching and dug through the packages in the trunk of the car. I learned how to act surprised and pleased and have even been able to move myself to tears in the act. I’m a terrible person, I know. I’m 37 years old, and this was the first year I was able to stop myself, thereby allowing the anticipation to build. I wish I could say without a doubt that I am reformed, but only time will reveal that.