christmas always sucked. with the little charlie brown tree mom picked up for deep discount (sometimes free) on christmas eve, i would wrap my baby blanket around its base, hoping maybe we could have a happy holiday, just once... but that never happened. not really. never got the presents i wanted, well except that one year there was a mountain of presents, after the parents divorced, and everyone must have pitched in to help us have presents under the tree. but the giant size barbie i wanted most of all turned out to not be near as much fun as the ad on teevee made it seem. that year, i got what i wanted and christmas still sucked. so i kinda quit doing the holidays when i was old enough to stay home when the family went visiting relatives or whatever... just wasn't with it. the bad boys got all the cool toys because their parents had money. santa was a fake. it just totally sucked and i wanted no part of it.
many many years later, decades later, in fact.
something magical happened! i had children of my own! and a mission to not let christmas suck for them like it always did for me. and it took me a while, but i started actually enjoying the decorations, and the cookies, the songs, and even the gift-giving. last year was the best christmas, ever! so this one won't suck, either. because my children taught me how to enjoy their childhood, since i never did really enjoy my own.
peace on earth
goodwill toward men
and women and children
and all the little critters, too
(added the following as an afterthought)
i still wrap that same blanket around the base of our tree. except the year meriel wouldn't let me take it from her for that purpose, because she had claimed it for her own.
i remember when i got that blanket, too. dad was working at macy's so was in the parade. i guess it was where monica was born, she was still a baby. not petersburg, somewhere close to there, can't remember. so we went to watch the parade and it was real cold. a stranger gave me that blanket, just out of the kindness of his heart, to help keep me warm.
so that blanket i guess was my reminder that i needed reminded of today. i took it with me to college. somehow, even through the first marriage, when i left just about everything i owned behind, i held on to that blanket a stranger gave me when i was very small. one small act of kindness that always stayed with me.