I'm having a little trouble getting in to the gifting thing this Christmas. I don't know if it's all the talk about the economy or something else that's flattened my jingle bells. I just haven't gotten too excited about buying gifts. And I don't even want to think about someone buying me something. Oh, the undue pressure of reciprocal gift giving.
I can't remember what I gifts I bought my family last year. Do they even remember what I bought them?
I do remember receiving some money last year, but I don't recall anything else that I unwrapped.
There's another Christmas gift-related incident that I don't remember, but have been reminded of several times. Let me introduce you to Shrinkin' Violette. I never knew her personally myself, although there was a time when I wanted to. She had yellow yarn hair. She also had a pull string that allowed her talk. She said things like "I'm shy."
I was only two or three years old, so I do not remember any of it, but apparently even at that tender age, I was sucked in by the Mattell toy marketing. I guess I had seen one too many of her commericals because as my mother tells it, when asked what I wanted for Christmas that year my response would always be "a Shrinkin' Violette doll."
I think Shrinkin' Violette unnerved my mother a little. Like some questionable video games and dark, evil-ish toys sold today, I think Mom thought Shrinkin' Violette would be a bad influence on a little three year old girl. After all, her name does sound a bit negative and I believe that my mother didn't think it was wise for me to love something so much that had those kind of connotations.
I can understand my mother's concern. Trying to raise a daughter to be strong, confident, smart and independent is tough enough even in the best of circumstances. Why would you want to jeopardize any of that with a doll whose name says she just wants to run away and hide.
So, Christmas morning came that year. Mom says that after all the gifts were opened, all I could scream was "Where's my Shrinkin' Violette doll, where's my Shrinking Violette doll?" Over and over.
Mom used her sound judgement that year and left Shrinkin' Violette on the Island of Misfit Toys. We laugh about that story now. We laugh about how I cried and cried over a silly little doll that I didn't get that year and paid no attention whatsoever to all the other lovely gifts.
Now, all these years later, I still don't even remember a single Shrinkin' Violette TV commercial, much less not having one of the dolls of my own. So, I guess the moral of the story and what I'm trying to tell myself is - - don't stress over the shopping or the gifts. It doesn't really matter. None of us will remember the gifts anyway.
What we will remember are the stories and tales that will be written when we spend time together. Years from now we will reminisce about all the laughing we did over some Wii game we played together, but we won't be able to remember that it was called Wii. We'll remember shopping together and laughing about whether to choose blouses with ruffles or no-ruffles, but we won't remember what we bought.
Most of all, since I was born generations later and since I've never even been to Bethlehem, I have no personal memory of the night Jesus was born. I can't say, "I'll never forget that night," because I wasn't there. I wasn't there to bring Him frankincense or to play my drum. That hasn't topped Him from wanting to spend time with me. And, funny, but the time He and I spend together are not really memory-making moments. They are future-making moments. We both are looking forward.
He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20