LJWorld.com weblogs Angell at My Table
A Gift from the Holiday Shop
Black Friday... Holiday toy catalogues as thick as bibles... weekly Toys R Us emails and commercials telling kids to want, want, want and parents to buy, buy, buy. It’s hard not to have a Charlie Brown moment or two by the time the first snow falls. Every year I do more shopping via school book orders, gift cards and online and less at the store.
So, when I brought my boys to the Lawrence Arts Center's holiday shop and cookie sale this year I had just about had my fill of sugar and dollar signs. I was relieved to be left out of this shopping experience. They each went in with a list and were escorted in by elves to make their selections. My four year old came out pretty quickly with his bag of goodies and even had some money left over. I promptly sent him back in to give to his brother.
And that was the last we saw of them.
As we waited and waited for them to emerge, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on in there. Were they fighting? Buying stuff for themselves? I imagined all these nightmare scenarios of angry elves and broken toys until, finally, after what seemed like an eternity but was probably 45 minutes, two boys emerged with full bags as full as their hearts. With the extra money, they had managed to buy a present for every kid in their extended family.
But it wasn’t until I put the boys to bed that night that I truly understood what had happened inside the the holiday shop. Santino curled himself in his covers, but his eyes were wide awake. “I’m just so excited,” he said. “Too many cookies?” I asked, regretting that final snack before bedtime. He shook his head. “I can’t wait to give everyone their presents.”
And then it hit me. There was no mention of the video games and lego sets he had been asking me about nearly every day since Halloween. This excitement came solely from the giving.
So, while the boys had bought plenty of toys and trinkets for family members that Friday night, they also brought a little something else home with them.
Holiday sprit. Just the gift I needed.