It's that time of year again - the time where we list our naughties and niceness, in hopes of the illusive Santa Claus making deliveries via a chimney. I guess Santa is not coming down any chimneys at our house this year, as the magic man Big Wind, blew our chimney stack to Arizona on December 1st massive windstorm. Oh well. If I close my eyes and really, really wish upon a star, maybe I will wake up in Arizona as well.
When I was younger, the anticipation of Christmas was something else. Our parents had routines. On December 6th, the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, we would get a tree. Decorating was a family activity, although I believe my daddy got more out of it then the rest of the family. By the time the house was done being adorned by Christmas spirit, picture frames would have little sprigs of pine tucked behind them and the tree gave the house a fragrant aroma of mystery for the season. Daddy decked the 2 story suburban house with lights. Some blinking, some burned out, but it was magical, mysterious time on Yolanda Avenue.
I vaguely recall the Christmas wish list. Some of the items on it were probably absurd. A new car, a stereo system, a trip to Europe. skis, trips to ski resorts. Classic. What the hell did we think our parents were made of - money? As I got older, and realized that money did not grow on trees, the list became shorter, and far more realistic. Maybe a bottle of perfume, or warm slippers. Items that actually could be used over and over again. And the gifts were far more enjoyable.
Now, as a grandmother to Christopher Corry, and his very first Christmas I am left with the realization that I can't give him the world. I wish I could. World peace, an end to world wars, economic stability for his future. It all boils down to "wants" vs "needs". Just how much stuff does a 2 month old baby "need". Just what is enough? Christmas is really for kids. Its about imagination. Dreaming. Fantasy. As kids get older, it is far more about "wants". Most commercial, costly, and soon forgotten once the AAA batteries wear out, and the family pet gets a hold of the toy.
What I can do for our grandson is plan for his future. I can start today by putting aside money in order to build a college fund for him. Maybe he will be the President that solves all the world's crisis. (My wish ... a Republican President) Maybe he will be the man who finds a cure for AIDS, cancer, and world hunger. I suppose every grandparent holds the highest of hopes for their grandchildren. I received 2 wonderful gifts in the lives of my children, Eryn and Bryan. They are healthy, beautiful young adults, with their lives in front of them. Knowing that, is a gift that any mother would be proud to receive. As for the next generation - our grandson Christopher Corry, the greatest gift is that he was born. He will be able to carry on the Corry family name. What I can do for him is pray that he makes a difference in this world of uncertainty, that he grows up to be the kind of human being that thinks of others' needs before his, gives to those who have nothing, and that Christopher Corry can one day say... "I made a difference in some one's life today".
For a grandmother - that's the best gift on earth.