in remembrance of...
being a kid at christmas.
the most excited i ever got about buying someone a christmas gift was when i was maybe six years old. i cannot describe my excitement. i think i'd gotten some money from my pops for good grades or something. i had gone through the walgreens ad, and found what i wanted to get everyone on my list. so my mom took me. when it was time to get her gift, a really pretty black lady in the cosmetics section helped me, because i forced my mom to go to the another part of the store so she wouldn't see her gift. anyway, i showed the salesperson what i wanted to get her. it was this small, white nail dryer. meaning, after you painted your nails, you took your fingers and pressed this button, and semi-hot air blew on them from some little contraption above. it coudn't have cost more than 10 dollars, but i swear it's the greatest gift i ever bought anyone. honestly, i cannot immediately recall anything else i've ever bought anyone in the chrismases since.
i don't know why this is my most vivid christmas memory. i'm sure (i hope, at least) that i've bought much better gifts for my mother since). but there's just something about that nail dryer that's stayed with me all those years. i was so excited to see my mom open her gift from me. thinking about it now makes me nostalgic and more than a little sad.
perhaps it really is the thought that counts. for instance, the christmas after my parents got divorced, my mom was broke, with two little kids to make happy for christmas. she later told me that she borrowed like 100 bucks from my great grandparents, and she and her friend, stephanie went shopping for us. i swear to god that was the greatest christmas ever. i got my first record player that year--a black emerson that i thought was the shit. (i played billy ocean, cherelle, jeffrey osborne, janet jackson, and al jarreau on that joker.) and all the shit my dad bought that year--perhaps to show up my mom--like the barbie dreamhouse, sat in my damn basement for years.
i swear, when you think about it, all the lite brites, teddy ruxpins, crickets, and cabbage pactch kids, don't match up to a cheap record player and a checker board. it's so interesting how the more money my family got, the less enthusiastic i was about christmas. not that i don't want the ipod, but you know what i mean.
getting older sucks...
it's not that i hate the holidays, really. in fact, between you and me, it's prolly my favorite time of the year. it's the consumerism that bothers the hell out of me. we all know that christmas ain't been about jesus in a long time--even though 2004 was a breakout year for j.c. but what i'm saying is, if a hundred dollar christmas made me the happiest kid on earth, maybe this season shouldn't really be about getting that big ass bow around the lexus. i know this isn't a novel idea, but perhaps it's just now hitting home for my broke ass.
i just really hate that when the reality of christmas set in, it did so permanently, and left a bad taste in my mouth. i miss the adrenaline and excitement of not being able to sleep on christmas eve. of falling down the stairs and busting my ass on christmas morning because the feet of my pajamas were so damn slippery. the only people in my house who still get that excited is janelle and the dog--and yes, nala does know when it's christmas. i suppose the only way to even get close to that is to have kids and watch their excitement on christmas morning, which, we all know, is not a possiblity for these child-bearing hips.
so cheers to being a kid at christmas. may you all get more than fruit in your christmas stocking.
language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison