Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Cheapest Gift Ever

The Cheapest Gift I Have Ever Received.

Christmas in my home as been a financially strapping event for as long as I can remember, money taken from the electric bill to buy gifts, the rent helped buy a nice dinner. I spent one Christmas Eve cutting my broom and mop down to make my boys stick horses and “cowboy gear”. It was worth it to see their smiling faces on Christmas morning as they ran through the house shooting each other with home made potato guns.

Their stockings were always hung “by the chimney with care” and Christmas morning dawned with happiness as my children’s Christmas Dreams were achieved.

Working full time while struggling with illness the Holidays found me once again broke and unprepared; a call to the Salvation Army saved my children’s Christmas. I believe in Santa Clause…that year he visited my home twice. He must have really liked my cookies.

‘The Night Before Christmas’ was read, the children had left snacks and eggnog for Santa and were tucked tight into their beds saying our Christmas prayers for Peace On Earth. I would love to say they fell fast asleep…but…it was almost two before the stockings were stuffed and the gifts delivered under the tree.

Switching off the last light, dimming the room to the colorful lights and sparkling tinsel swaying in the soft breeze a tear slipped from my eye and a prayer of thanks to Santa for saving Christmas once again.

My eyes traveled the colorful paper and bows, the bike my son wanted so badly, and the rocking horse for the baby. Stocking overflowing with oranges and nuts, coloring books and play doe. Mine hung limp at the end…it did not matter…the kids had another wonderful day coming for them in the morning…

Sleep came easy after a long day of working and finishing off the Christmas check list. Soon my head was dreaming of the day I would be able to get all the work done well in advance. The day I would not have to get help for the Holiday. I dreamed of snow and candy, guess I had the “visions of sugar plums” dancing in my head.

“He came! Wake up he came” every parents Christmas morning alarm clock I am assuming…

Rubbing the sleep from my eyes I could smell the coffee (I had them trained too) brewing, Christmas Music softly coming from the stereo. Wishing it were 8 instead of 5 I climbed from bed and nudged my husband to discover…HE had woke the children!

It took me a minute to realize something had changed in my living room since the night before. But it only took me a second for the tears to start.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…and mine was no longer hanging limply at the end. Mine was Bulging larger that any of the others. My children were smiling from ear to ear as they handed me the cheapest Christmas gift I have ever received.

Inside my stocking were several colored pictures…some just scribbled on they “got tired and it was not full”. I became the proud owner that day of a Ninja Turtle Card, “princess jewelry”, the “fastest” match box car corvette in their collection, all this and some melted fudge covering an orange and several nuts in the toe.

The cheapest and BEST gift I have ever received on Christmas…The Gift of a Child's Love.

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