Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Launching into the Christmas season.
It's time to launch the CHRISTMAS boat. The season of buying has begun. We don't want to be late. Besides, the weather is frightful, and could get worse. If we don't get out and buy now, the streets could be flooded, iced over, detoured, or impassable in some ways.
Something in me wants inspiration, counting on sights, sounds, smells and tastes to bring the magic back each year. Baking and decorating the house might propell me into action.
Christmas is a big baggage I carry.
I have this idea that it has to be surprisingly fulfilling; it has to make everybody’s secret wish come true. Not just any old wish, but the wish we did not know we had, a wish we made out loud only to ourselves, burying it so it did not continue to take up space on the shelf of wishes. If That wish stayed on the shelf, never fulfilled, it would be a sorry reminder, year after year that our lives were not magical, but ordinary and insignificant.
Wishes must be fulfilled at Christmas.
Christmas comes only once, and it is ok to have wishes out of the ordinary, special, expensive. Deep down, our job as parents, wives, sisters, is to make magic dreams come true. We must become extra-ordinary and whip up that magic wand. Even if our finances are meager.
I assemble many lists to get me started, the obvious needs and the practical solutions, sweaters, socks, gloves. Only once, we all wanted gloves, the ones we could stuff in coat pockets and have on hand as we rode up to the mountains for the day, after a snowstorm had powdered the local San Gabriels. None of us remember what we did with those gloves after the first outing.
Most people I know buy with confidence, stick to their lists, in and out of the malls, bags full of clothes or toys. Everyone is happy in their families.
What does my husband crave that he doesn't already have or couldn’t purchase himself? I have paid no attention.
How do people get ahead of the season by buying off season?
I need to discover what everyone wishes. Something in me wants to be a fulfiller of unknown dreams, every year. I picture that blessed morning, eyes sparkling, voices squealing, arms bouncing up and down, and then the rush to hug, call, find the giver of that secret wish.
“Oh Mom, how did you know?”
My husband is a confident shopper. If he likes something, the children too would like it. “Look, isn’t that fabulous. I am getting that for her!” he says when he shops, and wraps the present without giving it a second thought. .
I'm never sure.
There were years with pre-lists, years with no lists; years with themes; years with gift certificates; years with cash; years with fruit baskets and special wines.
This Christmas will be different. I will give away something I love to someone I love. This Christmas my daughter will get my crystal water pitchers and my boys will get my books, the ones I suggested they read, and the ones I have wanted them to read. Isn’t this like forcing my taste on them? After all, they are adult, adult by day and children when they visit each other, stirring the dust of memories of Christmas past all over the living area. Before long, we’ll all remember who got the biggest stuffed animal, and who never wanted the skating lessons.
Yes, this Christmas will be different.
Now, don't hold me to this.
I might get inspired as I prepare the panettone.