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Christmas Morning

Once again, my good friend Insomnia has grabbed hold.  I was texting a friend and I explained my intentions of going to sleep.  I wished her a Merry Christmas and tried to sleep.  After about twenty minutes, I dozed off, only to wake up two hours later. I am now wide awake, a second night of less than three hours of sleep.  I started thinking about my childhood and the anticipation of Christmas morning. 

I was never one of those kids who couldn't sleep or went right to bed, fearing Santa wouldn't stop by.  Usually the presents were under the tree before hand and my curious self would run over a light inventory of the packages marked for me.  Of course, Mom and Dad would inevitably have hidden on or two of the better items.  I remember as a young boy always spotting the Nerf football that was a Christmas staple.  This gift was usually one needed out of necessity, as the previous years looked like a pit bulls chew toy.  The funny thing is I can't remember any gifts I've received that well, but remember many that I gave.

I remember certain gifts that past girlfriends gave me, but I think I usually remembered the thanks I received from them the evening after, more than the gifts themselves.  I remember getting video games as a teenager, but remember the look on my brother's face, knowing the gift was basically his too.  I also remember buying him a certain game, which at the time was ridiculously expensive (even by today's standards).  I remember getting my parents a surround sound stereo, which my father still has.  I always remember getting clothes and as a child rolling my eyes, but then appreciating them more and more as I got older.  I seem to remember receiving a lumberjack jacket and being thrilled.  Back then, it was the style.

I remember the silly guido years of high school, when I (not a guido) gave someone a diamond and ruby tennis bracelet.  What an atrocious gift looking back on it.  I remember giving someone a diamond ring, with a stone so small, I'm still not sure it was there.  I remember giving my mother a ring, that she absolutely adored.  Nobody else would have thought twice about this ring, but my mother's taste was always very eclectic.  I remember shopping for "sexy" panties for a girlfriend when I was about 22.  Talk about awkward for a kid that age, but apparently I done right.  I remember buying someone a DVD of a Chuck Norris movie and them loving it as much as anything else I got them. 

Christmas morning was always a little bit of a chore.  Waking early, crust in my eyes.  In my late 20's; usually consisting of a hangover.  Hot coffee, bathrobe and slippers, sitting waiting for my yearly page a day calendar.  Christmas always had it's routine, but there were of course surprises.   Usually something my parents said they wouldn't get me or my brother, but of course had already purchased.

When I think back, the thing I liked the most about Christmas was getting my my family or the love of my life at the time, that one gift, that one special gift, that regardless of cost, was thoughtful.  Sometimes it was the most expensive gift, but many times, normally in fact, it wasn't.  It was never about me.  Most would laugh at the gift that stands out to me the most over the last forty one years.  It was given to me by my brother and he bought it with his own money.  I don't know how old he was, or I, but I remember unwrapping a frame.  I turned it over and it was a picture from a scene in The Little Mermaid. Most would think a guy in his twenties would  laugh and think it was a joke.  I treasured it and I still have it today. 

Christmas has always been about doing for others.  Before I started this blog, I made a donation to a charity that supplies food to those in need.  My favorite part of Christmas was always after the presents were open.  We'd sit around the table, coffee, juice, bagels and omelets with slices of crisp bacon.  It was just a precursor to what was to come.  I can't imagine Christmas without all the wonderful meals attached to the holiday.  I don't want to imagine those who can not share in that.  Christmas has always been about what you can do for others.  My father, brother and I agree not to waste money on "stuff" anymore.  Sure if there is something special, we will get it, but we aren't into materialistic things (anyone who has ever seen my wardrobe knows this).  I want others to have the necessities this time of year.  I want another family's child, to experience a little of what I received.  That to me is what Christmas is all about. 

Note:  I've chosen City Harvest for my donation.  They have suggested amounts to donate and describe what they can do with that money, but I donate throughout the year, with smaller donations.  Of all the charities  I've researched this one seems to be the most effective and efficient. Give it a thought.  Someone else will be fed a meal because of you.  How wonderful is that?


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