Ah Christmas! That magical time where we all throttle off to church for Mass to remember the birth of Jesus and then come home to ask the children: “Let’s see what Santa brought you?” Sigh.. umm weren’t you just in church? Why are you lying to people already? Awww…..that magical time where we forget the true meaning of Christmas.
Giving. SHARING. LOVING YOUR FELLOW MAN.
I say this because I always forget the true meaning of the holiday when I receive gifts. I have no problem giving gifts and honestly and I don’t expect gifts in return and nor should anyone feel obligated to give me one (because then it turns gift giving into a chore). But on the off chance I do get one, I turn into this 9-10 year old that can’t wait to open up his presents and be amazed at what he has gotten.
I say 9-10 years old as I think that was the last time I actually got a gift that I went GAGA over…
No I lie., I got a BMX bike at 13 (got banned from using it by Boxing Night) and at 14 I got a Fuji Disc Camera (they don’t exist anymore but I used to love that camera a lot).
As I got older, my presents for Christmas usually came in the region of food. Yes, I see the shock on your faces; I did say FOOD. There is not a hurt caused by a bad present that a nice warm minced pie or warm sweetbread with peanut butter or a couple pastelles can’t soothe away into oblivion.
Sigh if only the hurt of people was easier to get rid of this way.
I make mention to this as I got what one would call presents on Christmas day that had me moving straight for comfort food. I swear sometimes it is as if these people do not know me and haven’t been riddled with my sarcasm enough that they don’t try harder at presents..Sigh…
After you read below, you can only draw one conclusion:
I have been naughty all year and Santa therefore didn’t get me anything.
GIFT ONE –
I am at home on Christmas Eve, trying in vain to wrap presents but I can’t seem to find any of the THREE pairs of scissors that are in my apartment. My attempt at using a ruler and a knife to cut the wrapping paper was a disaster (so too was the use of an envelope opener). In the midst of this chaos I get a call from a friend who asks if I am at home because they want to pass to drop off my Christmas present.
Immediately my heart starts to race as this is an unexpected present and also it will give me the opportunity to give them their present (which was wrapped in the mall because the attendant in the store offered to do it).
I get the gift and hand them theirs and they light up immediately and speed off. I spend all of the journey back upstairs into my apartment trying to decide if I should open it now or on Christmas Day. We know who won.
I opened it and there it was…a disappointing present.
“Another One?”, I thought to myself.
My 10 year old self stood there crushed, hurt, wounded to the core, as I looked at the present which basically said that this person took no time or effort to even think about getting me something.
At this point you must say that I am ungrateful. Well I am!! And let me tell you why.
I get a call at 12:30am Christmas Morning thanking me for my present (I will not disclose what it is because getting someone a PUMA laptop bag is not important at all and only shows how shallow I am). They then asked what I thought of my present. I was silent for a bit and then I uttered:
The Wallet? Oh It’s nice. It’s just like the one you gave me LAST YEAR! Only this time you took it out the box that it came in!!!
There was silence on the phone and I felt an apology coming and I halted it by stating that I was wrong in being so ungrateful. I thanked them for the gift and told them that I had no right to be so sarcastic. I just got a “Merry Christmas Steffy” and the line went dead.
Yes, YES I know…There is a Special Place in Hell for me!
COMFORT FOOD: I immediately took at some sweetbread and Smuckers Peanut Butter (All Natural) and warmed it up. Eating two slices of the bread so early in the morning wasn’t wise but it dulled the pain tremendously
My Mother means well and she will always be unable to do any wrong in my mind. She has a heart of gold and every child in the neighbourhood loves her to death and the presents they get. Unfortunately, her children seem to get neglected as a result. I guess it must be easier to buy toys for kids than stuff for adults (Yeah I’m gonna stick with that answer).
I arrive at my mom’s house around 10:30am Christmas Morning with belly in hand and 8 Tupperware containers in the car (3 are allocated to this house but that can always change). We begin breakfast and so I am stuffing my mouth with souse, ham sandwiches, beef pastelles, some sorrel, and grapes as far as the eye can see. All is well and right with the world. I am full and so my chakra is centred and neutralised.
I gave everyone in the house their presents and there were smiles all around. My mom turns to me and says that she has been really busy and so she didn’t get chance to wrap my present, then she reaches into a black bag and says:
Mom: Which Plaid Shirt do you like? I bought one for you and one for your brother! You wear plaid right?
My Sister: I told you he doesn’t wear plaid.
(SILENCE – TV playing in background people staring at me waiting for a response).
Mom: Stefan? Say Something!
Me: (I swallow) I like the one on the left
Mom: Yuh know that is the one I actually said you would like.
I grin and give her a hug.
My sister looks at me and giggles. I walk to the back bedroom without even touching the shirt and sit on the edge of the bed. I keep wondering why after all these years does it still phase me that my mother insists on shopping at DETOUR! At least it’s not a t-shirt but a XXL plaid shirt. Oh JOY!!!
I sit and wonder what I have done wrong as only a week ago I gave my mom two garbage bags full of old clothing for her to give away to charity. Did she not look through the items? Did it not occur to her what my taste in clothing would be? Did she not see presents from previous years in the garbage bag? I guess not!
COMFORT FOOD: So I sit at the edge of the bed and inhale three pastelles and a ham sandwich. One would NEVER have guessed that I had eaten just a mere 15 -20 minutes before. I had a short nap right after because there was no way my body was going to digest all that food with me conscious and watching television or something.
I also visited my father later on the evening, only to be questioned when was I going to lose all that weight. I smiled and ask politely where the roast beef was being stored and that I had brought a special container for the callaloo. I was then reminded that my younger brother goes to the gym every afternoon like clockwork and is look slim and trim! Did you say you had pastelles for me too?
These stories, my friends, represent the results of my sins for the entire year. Apparently, I did no good this year and therefore my penance is bad gifts. Getting no gifts doesn’t hurt at all, as my expectation is geared towards that reality. But to lull me into a false sense of wonder by telling me I have a gift and then laying one on me that showed you barely thought of me for all of two minutes?.. Well that crap kinda hurts…
How come I can’t get use to disappointment after all these years?
As I write this, I am eating grapes. I am all worn out of pastelles and my bread intake has been in excess of the legal fat boy limit. The 8 Tupperware containers are still full of food as I haven’t eaten at home since Christmas Eve and I don’t expect to heat anything up until probably sometime in January.
Whatever the result, I’ll be fine.
Oh I did get some nice presents otherwise from sources that came out of the blue and one of these is really cool.
The best gift however, came from my God Daughter, Kai, who hugged me tightly after she received her gifts and told me, in the sweetest two year old voice ever , that she loved me. I melted like butter after that. There was no need for comfort food at that point.
I was full!!
How was your Christmas?