Grinchy feeling, haven’t done any shopping, at all. My boyfriend tells me not to bother giving him anything, the same response I made when asked. But we’re both lying, we’ll both have something at Christmas. Did I ever believe in Santa Claus, he asks. A guy dressed in winter clothes sleigh riding with reindeers in the snow going through chimneys with gifts for boys and girls. Before I open my mouth, he’s answering his own question, its more of a no, since I don’t have winter or a snow in my country, therefore no chimneys for Santa. Neither does he, ever since he could recall it was utterly impossible for santa to be in one store then another then another during christmas. He is actually right, for me santa is someone in the book. I never denied explicitly though, unless confronted. However, I do keep that tradition of gift giving to kids that started since I had a job.
We are a big family, some of my brothers and sisters who had families of their own lives a block away from me. My nieces and nephews were a constant guest in my house, when there’s good food. When I had my first paycheck that first season, after I went bargain hunting I decided to put the nicely wrapped gifts under the christmas tree, three weeks before christmas day with the instruction they would be opened on Christmas day. So each gift comes with their name. I was unsuspecting and unaware in the beginning because they didn’t appear interested. When one kid comes he/she passes by the tree, peek, glance or lift at maybe one or two gifts, then leave. Then the following day, the same scene. Another kid comes this time going through the back door, sits down, stands up, walks over to the tree, glance around, then leave through the front door. Each one have their own technique. When I get home at night, everything is the same, the gifts are in the same places and position as I left them. Finally when I woke up on Christmas day, I was expecting a scene where they come rushing, pushing, tearing wrappers, their faces glowing, eyes bigger. It is almost nine in the morning my excitement turning into anxiety, what is happening? They finally came one at a time after I have to call them. At the end of the day when everything was distributed, I spoke to my mom who lives with me, why they don’t appear eager. It was then she spilled the daily scene under that Christmas tree. Since I get home every night, the kid who comes in the morning checks if there is something new and different from yesterday. He/she leaves, then reports to the other kids the news. That kid who has the new gift comes the next day and checks his’ at the same time if there’s something new when I came home last night. During the day after school they come in ones or twos, feel/touch their gift, shake it, smell it, but they don’t have much time because my mom shoves them away. By the time a kid guesses his/hers, they all help each other at guessing others’ gifts. At Christmas time, everyone knew what they’re getting, I didn’t see glowing faces or big eyes.
The next year I changed my technique, I coded the childs’ name on the gifts and wrote the code in between the prints of the wrapper. At christmas time before I even handed down the gifts they yell out the name of the beneficiaries, they found and decoded the names.
I love those days when the kids were young and innocent. Today most of my nieces and nephews are making money on their own at the same time keeping the tradition of gift giving to others as well. I am not that excited anymore but I still give something for children.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Getting Seasonal.”