Friday, December 16, 2022

The Ghosts of Christmas Presents

How many Christmas presents do you remember, either those given or those received? I started thinking about this as I was feeling bad about my current present-buying or lack thereof. Just how many presents that I've gotten over seven decades do I remember? 

The ones I most remember are the ones from Santa when I was growing up. The year I got my shoe skates and Brownie watch. The year we got the Flintstones bowling set and Give-a-Show Projector. The year I got a transistor radio and book about the American Revolution. The year I got my hot rollers. Beyond that, I really don't remember many Christmas gifts that I've gotten over the years, though they have been plentiful. 

And what about the presents I've given? Honestly, I can't remember many. When I was 6 or 7 Daddy took us shopping, and I got Mother a little blue metallic jewelry box (couldn't have held much more than safety pins and pennies) that played The Blue Danube when you lifted the lid. Mother had that on her dresser for years and years. 

Hm. Let's see. I give Liam the annual Hess truck every Christmas, so this one should be number 13 for him. (Yes, he has a great collection.) And I gave Kate and Greg a Nespresso machine last year. No clue what I've given the kids and grandkids, brothers, sisters, and sundry other folks beyond that over the years. I suspect they don't remember, either.

What I'm coming to realize is that, obviously, the presents don't matter. Yes, yes, something to open on Christmas morning, but the specifics of the gifts are irrelevant. Unwrapping is fun, but the contents are usually forgettable. 

Slowly, we're trying to move away from "things" and concentrate more on "experiences" - performances, events, travel, fun times together. Trading presents for presence. Still, everybody likes to unwrap stuff, so I need to figure out that part. Sigh. 

Oh! I did get a Soda Stream last Christmas that I use all the time. But that leaves quite a gap between hot rollers in 1968 and seltzer gas in 2021. I know those Ghosts of Christmas Presents are floating around somewhere, but somehow they don't seem that important. Ho ho ho.