Four years ago, Hubby and I went to our local mall’s Christmas kick-off celebration. They had a big tree-lighting, live music, hot chocolate, decorations everywhere and of course Santa Claus made an entrance.
It was a fun night filled with all the little things that make the holiday fun and memorable. As we were walking around the grounds, soaking up the sights and sounds of the celebration (while also attempting to keep warm against the winter chill), we were approached by a man with a microphone. He was from one of the local radio stations, and was doing on-the-spot interviews with folks that walked by.
My husband is a private fellow, and talking to a radio guy wasn’t his idea of a good time. I thought it might be fun though, so I slowed and let the man ask his question. It was a simple one, “What was your favorite Christmas gift?”
In that moment, images flashed through my brain – what to choose? The Little House on the Prairie book series? The cherished “My Friend Mandy” doll? Or “My Friend Jenny” the following year? No, in the end I chose this as my favorite Christmas gift memory:
I was ten, and remember being woken from a deep sleep late on Christmas Eve night. My Dad had been abruptly called in to work, and would not be at home during our normal celebration time (we usually opened our gifts on Christmas morning – after breakfast and a reading of the Nativity story), so they had roused me so that they could both watch me open my gifts. I, of course, did not object.
So, there I was – disheveled and still in my pajamas – opening presents a little before midnight. I probably received several gifts, but I remember two from that night as if they were yesterday. The first was a fuzzy stuffed raccoon. The second was my first ever record player!! (kids – if you don’t know what that is, ask your folks). It was simply wonderful. Looking at that turntable and the detached speakers made me so happy. This was exactly the present I had hoped for, and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
After giving the Radio guy a way shortened version of the above story, we went on our way, forgetting all about it. Until a few days later when co-workers started asking me if I was the Christy from the radio who got a record player? I got a chuckle out of it that year, and the next (when they re-played the same snippet), and again last year. Just yesterday I had someone ask me about it again, so evidently I’m once again in rotation on that local radio station. It’s silly, but fun too…because it reminds me of that memory and brings it back into focus every year.
Someday, I assume that radio station will ask some new people their question and my response will be retired from their play list. Even if I’m never stopped by another co-worker who heard me on their morning commute…. I’ll never forget. That memory has a lot more to it than the gift itself. It was a perfect example of how our little family functioned. We always made the best of every situation, and always did whatever we could – together as a family. That’s really the best part – the togetherness – the fact that my Mom and Dad wanted us to enjoy our holiday. That was the best gift they ever game me – time with them.
Merry Christmas Mom & Dad!! I love you!