Sunday, December 22, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

When I was a kid growing up in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, long before online shopping was a common convenience, my parents had us look through Christmas catalogs from J. C. Penney and Sears to make our wish lists for Santa. My brother and sister and I would look over the catalogs in wonderment, and at some point, my mom would secretly phone in our family order, which my dad would secretly pick up at the stores downtown, allowing our belief in Santa to continue until we were a little older. While I’m sure that keeping all those items on the wish lists straight for three kids wasn’t always easy, at least we gave them ideas about what we would like to have.

In contrast, up until last year, Alex rarely gave us any suggestions about what he would like for Christmas, often answering our request for ideas by saying, “What would be good?” He gets that gift indecision honestly, as I suspect most males are terrible about providing ideas for gifts. In the twenty-five years I’ve been married to Ed, he has never offered any ideas about what he would like for a gift, leaving me to puzzle over what to get him. Nonetheless, I spend the month of December brainstorming potential gifts for both Alex and Ed and hope that I might come up with some presents they will like. Instead of viewing this process as an exercise in frustration, I see it as a challenge.

Since Alex has given me several good specific suggestions, he has made Christmas shopping for him pretty easy this year. As I was sorting through shopping bags this morning, getting ready to wrap gifts, I was reminded of a blog entry I wrote three years ago as an imitation of the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” in which I substituted the things Alex would like to have at that time. [To read this blog entry, please click here.] Because his interests have changed a bit, I decided to update the list this year, a revised version of Alex’s Twelve Days of Christmas.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Alex asked of me:

An iPad Mini

To see the stars

A Rudolph ornament

A world records book

Listen to Amy Grant

A light-up toothbrush

A nutrition book

A Target gift card

A calendar

Three almanacs

Two board games
And a hot bath full of Epsom salt.

Although I appreciate that Alex can now express what he wants, I’m even more pleased that he understands the real reason for Christmas, explaining that it’s “Jesus’ birthday.” This year he has enjoyed looking through Christmas cards sent by family and friends, and his favorite seems to be the one from my sister (whose college degree in math and melodic voice make her “special” to him) and her family, who each signed the card individually. In fact, he carried off their card that proclaims, “Joy to the World” to his bedroom. Yesterday, I heard him humming loudly that old carol, “Joy to the World,” which brought tears of joy to my eyes. This Christmas, we are thankful for the joy Alex has found again, which brings us joy, as well. Indeed, “Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy!” Merry Christmas and in the words of Charles Dickens’ beloved character from A Christmas Carol, Tiny Tim, “God bless us, every one!”

“…I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Luke 2:10


phyllisbizeemom said...

Beautiful Pam!

Pam Byrne said...

Thanks for your kind comment, Phyllis! Hope your family had a wonderful Christmas!
Take care,