A Gift For You This Holiday Season
This is a post I did for Tracy Riva’s Blog last week. Plus, you might have a look under the tree …
The Moment When Get Turns Into Give
As a youngster, I remember heading back to school after the holidays excited to visit with my friends. We lived out of town and didn’t have many close neighbors. Those were the days before cell phones, texting, and Skype. No, dinosaurs were not alive, but we did occasionally play with plastic ones.
“What did you get for Christmas?”
This question was asked and answered dozens of times during that first day back. Notes were compared, “oohs” and “ahs” were shared, and winners and losers were crowned.
“Did you hear what Billy got?”
“Yes! Gosh, he’s so lucky!”
Kids are naturally self-absorbed. They’re just wired that way. For them, Christmas is simply a bonanza of gifts bestowed upon them by a strange fat man in a red suit who is oddly concerned about their behavior. Later, the source of the gifts changes to parents and family, who are still annoyingly focused on behavior, but usually give up the goods anyway.
Never did I hear the question, “What did you give for Christmas?”
I believe I was in eighth grade when in early December, my dad scolded me for being selfish. I don’t remember what I did to earn the tongue lashing. I was an only child, and so it could have been for any number of things and rightly so. The reason I recall the scolding was my response to it. Being the spoiled child I was, I decided to prove to my dad just how unselfish I could be by buying an unprecedented number of gifts for him, and especially my mom. I had saved up a decent amount of money over the summer and fall, and committed myself to spending most, if not all, of it on my parents for Christmas.
Yeah, that’ll show ‘em! I smugly told myself.
The funny thing was, as I spent time going through various stores downtown after school for the next several days, I found myself really enjoying the shopping. I discovered gifts I thought my parents would truly like and appreciate, and I grew more and more excited for Christmas to arrive so I could give them the things I’d purchased and had lovingly wrapped. When the big morning came, my heart swelled when they opened their packages and smiles appeared on their faces. I don’t remember any of the presents I received that year, but I vividly remember the warm feeling I had from giving.
Silly parents! They had no idea who they were dealing with!
Since then, I have spoiled my own children, as most parents do, and watched with joy as they ripped through wrapping paper to greet a new treasure with wide eyes and bright smiles. We get so caught up in the commercial aspect of the holidays any more that we often lose sight of the simple act of giving. We stand, bleary eyed, in the department store, checking off items from a list instead of taking just a few moments to browse, with someone else in mind, for something that will spark that smile of joy on their face. A smile that will be mirrored on your own face when you see it.
What did you give for Christmas?
Merry Christmas to all! Oh! Wait, what’s that under the tree? Hey, it looks like there’s a present for you…
Knot in Time is FREE for Kindle (which includes Kindle apps on your iPad, phone, or computer) December 25-27, 2012. Please download and spread the word, far and wide!
Also, I’m running a giveaway on GoodReads from Christmas until the 31st for two signed copies of Knot in Time. Go here to enter.
Lastly, Knot in Time has been nominated for “Best of 2012” in the Young Adult category at Predators and Editors. Please give it a vote, if you’re so inclined, but if you see a title listed there you enjoyed more, by all means, vote it up. I’m honored to be considered. Also, have a look at some of the other categories while you’re there. You might find some other great reads you hadn’t heard about before.
See you in 2013!