A friend asked me to write a quick story about a funny Christmas I’ve had, so I went back through my memory banks and remembered the time I got the worst gifts ever. I thought I could write a funny little story about when I got it, but now looking back, as terrible as the gift was, it may have been the greatest gift I’ve ever gotten. It gave me the gift of being a better person.
I was about 9 years old, and my parents were going through a rough time financially. They let me and my two older brothers know that they might not be able to buy us gifts for Christmas. My brothers understood, but I was a little annoyed. I only got 2 days out of the year to get gifts, and my folks had cancelled one of them. I grumped around the house for a while, but generally kept my disappointment to myself. I didn’t want to come off as a whiny shit.
Christmas day rolled around and my mom woke me up to say Merry Christmas, and she pushed this huge box into my room. I was all excited because I realized my mom tricked me and actually got me a gift. I ran up to the box and ripped it open, and I looked in and looked back at my mom with a very confused look. I reached into the box and pulled out a fake plant which I’m pretty sure was decoration somewhere else in the house and about three or four throw pillows for a couch. I put the items on the floor and stared at them for a little while and wondered what kind of reaction I should give my mom. A fake plant and throw pillows? Really? Why is she giving me shitty housewarming gifts for a Christmas present? I wanted to pick everything up and throw it across the room, but then I looked up at my mom and saw the disappointment in her eyes that she couldn’t get her baby boy any Christmas presents that year. I ran up to her and gave her a huge hug and thanked her profusely for the gifts. I took the plant and put it on the nightstand next to my bed and placed the throw pillows on to my bed like they were my new stuffed animals. At that moment, I realized being a wanting person is not a good look. My parents provided for me year round and kept me alive, so why did I need them to ever give me gifts just because it was a specific day? I should just treat everyday as a gift.
That little gift I got when I was 9 I believe molded me in to a better person. It’s better to give than to receive is just not a cliched line to me, it is how I live my life now. That day, my mom just wanted to give me anything, and just that little gesture, now matter how insane it was to give throw pillows and a fake plant to a 9 year old boy, was all I needed. And because of that, that is how I treat everyone I know. To this day, I spend the most money I have on getting my folks presents for their birthdays and Christmas, but I could give them anything and they would be happy. Actually, my dad is rarely happy with what I get him. He hates my taste in clothing. How could he want me to return a triple fat goose coat?!