In the days before the internet made everything a click away from being delivered to the front door, my grandmother was a big customer of the Sears Catalog. She’s hated to drive, I’m not sure I ever saw her drive even though there is this mysterious picture of her on a motorcycle when she was younger! So she could call up the store and have my grandfather drive over there when he was coming home from work to pick up her choices.
Pages and pages of toys! Sure my mother might have picked out a few things of the clothing variety, but my little bother and I could go through pictures of stuff we wanted and just fold a page. My low-tech version of an Amazon Wish List?
Christmas would come around and I would have completely forgotten about things. And there would always be something that I hadn’t even thought about under the tree with my name on it. One year it was a bike, the next a ping-pong table (not the easiest thing to transport!). My mom’s parents spoiled us rotten. There was even a notebook that ensured the exact dollar amount was spent on my bother and I, they never wanted us to feel slighted or that they had a favorite. My mother still does this with us today!
I was very fortunate. More fortunate than many of my friends growing up. There was the year we went full Ferris Bueller when my brother got a new car and I got a stereo. I still have the speakers, they are really nice sounding! These days I try to do something for others since it is what helps me through the holidays.
Last Christmas was hard, without the two ladies who had made every holiday worth celebrating. Taking my parents aside to give them something from my daughter without the rest of the family watching was tear-inducing. It’s one of the few times I have seen my dad uncomfortable. But that Crystal Sun-catcher hangs in the window of their family room. And while I wonder what she did with it, I sent the ex something similar.
There is a project I’m slowly working on. When the kid was still gestating, I bought several books on projects that you could build with you own hands. I settled on this treasure chest and recently had my hosts pick up the pieces I need to finish it. Months of very slow progress will result in something for my niece. Susie knows I’ve been trying to work on this, and she knows that the idea sprang with the intent of it going to another. But she picked out the old leather straps that hold it together, really two belts we picked up at Goodwill.
I don’t know if there will come a time when a holiday will feel like a holiday to me anymore. Mostly they’re just days that I try to muscle through. People have asked if there is anything I want this year, but I always say I have everything. This year feels like it needs to be about what I can do for them. The thing I really want just isn’t possible. But there is a possibility that I can give them want they want?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Out of Your Reach.”