This week’s Flashback Friday: Christmas Past
The first Christmas I remember involved a fake Cabbage Patch doll–fake because we were really poor and my family couldn’t afford the $40 or $50 stores were charging for the new “hot toy.”
I remember being disappointed that it wasn’t a real one. I knew it wasn’t because it lacked Xavier Robert’s signature on the doll’s butt (On the butt? Really?). The doll’s nose was also deformed–as in the nostrils resembled boogers more than nostrils.
But it was all my grandmother could afford and after the initial sting, that doll was everything. (At least until I puked on it. Its yarn hair never lost the vomit smell.)
Looking back now, I’m amazed at what children in America want for Christmas. We’ve definitely bred a society of commercialism and greed, myself included.
As an adult, my wants and needs are much simpler. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy gifts, but as a middle class dweller, I’m able to comprehend that wants are different from needs and that others certainly have less than I do. My husband and I have reached a point in our lives that if we want a movie or a book, we can purchase such items without much pause as they don’t impact our budget all that much.
However, if a cat ends up in the ER, we feel the pinch and have to scale back in order to pay off whatever debt we acquire. We’re not debt free, and any big expense has impact. As a child, these weren’t concepts I understood.
I didn’t get why I couldn’t have the designer jeans my friends were wearing or the new hardback book someone was reading. And yet there are children out there living in poverty that do understand. Whenever I read about a child giving selflessly, it brings tears to my eyes. That’s a child who has more wisdom and consciousness than I ever did.
Growing up as I did gives me some understanding of poverty–at least enough to write well-rounded characters–but I will never understand what it is like to have only the clothes on my back as I flee a horrific regime that wishes me dead.
Puts everything into perspective.
I truly hope you have a happy holiday, whatever you celebrate, and that it is full of everything you need, if not everything you want.