Even when I was a kid, it was never about what I got for Christmas that mattered. More so today because I know that there are so many people, so many kids that don’t get gifts because their families can’t afford them. When I was a kid, we didn’t have tons of money and my parents were always cautious about spending. They never spoiled us and bought expensive things they couldn’t afford. And I’m grateful for their wise choices.
The memories I have of Christmastime as a kid are not about Santa and gifts, but more about family. I remember that our Christmas tree was always ugly! Hahaha! Yep! Our tree was not beautiful like those you see at Macy’s. Why? Because my mom and dad let us kids decorate it!! AND we used those hideous silver icicles which you don’t see in the stores anymore….I wonder why!! If you had any of those silver icicle things on your tree, no matter how carefully you placed them, there’s no way your tree would be pretty!! I wish I had a pic to show you, but I don’t…just memories of what our ugly tree looked like. The thing is…although our tree was not a pretty site, it’s still a fond memory and will always be one of the things that made Christmas special when I was a kid.
I also remember one more thing. This memory was actually about presents. Again, what we got wasn’t important…I really don’t remember exactly what we got. This memory is about the giving side of the presents. Every year at Christmas, my sister, Terri, would have gifts under the tree for each of us. She was the only kid in the family that planned gifts for everyone. There would be these little kapakahi (Hawaiian for crooked, uneven, messy, disorganized) wrapped presents under our ugly silver icicle covered Christmas tree…one for each of us. I don’t even know how she got them, if she bought them or made them…just that those little kapakahi wrapped presents were there under our hamajag (same meaning as kapakahi) tree. That’s a special memory and I’ll never forget it. Thanks for the memories Terri!
With Dave, Christmas was always special because he made us laugh. He used to say that his mom, Marilyn, would be out shopping for Christmas gifts and forget to get him something. He joked about her standing in line to purchase other people’s gifts, and at that point she’d remember she still had to get his gift and would just grab something as she was in line at the checkout counter. He would jokingly complain about the gifts he got from everyone. He would open something up and look at it with a puzzled expression and say something like, “Oh, you got me this?!” and he would throw it on the ground, then start laughing and everyone would laugh with him. I think his family started getting him crazy gifts just to see what he would do when he opened it. 🙂 The holidays were always full of laughs…special memories to cherish forever.
What’s the true meaning of Christmas? It doesn’t matter if you have an ugly tree like Charlie Brown did. It doesn’t matter how many gifts you got or what you got. It’s really the thought that counts…what you do for someone else. If Sierra cleaned her room without me asking her to do it (Sierra are you reading this? 🙂 ), or randomly wrote a sweet little note to her mom, or did something thoughtful for someone, anyone…..that stuff means more to me than a store bought gift ANY DAY! Christmas is about doing something thoughtful for someone…showing someone you care….
For those who are missing family and bummed about the holidays…create your own special memories. Do something special…no matter how small…for someone else. I promise you..it’s the best feeling in the world and you’ll be creating memories to cherish always.
Mele Kalikimaka to all….