I remember one Christmas Eve, my Mother was pacing. I was about 10 years old. I remember wanting a specific doll I wrote to Santa for. I was worried, my Mother kept going to the bay window in our old home and peeking through the curtains. My Father was not home, and it was after dinnertime. I asked her what was wrong. She looked at me and said “Stacy, everything will be fine”. She talked to me like I was an adult at a very young age. She thought she was protecting me from the knowledge my Dad was an heavy drinker, but I knew. I knew she was worried because it was Friday and payday. She didn’t have enough time to shop for us. So she left the house early, and went in search of my Father; of course she knew exactly where he would be (at the local pub). She took the remainder of his pay, and drove in her station wagon to the local department store and fulfilled what she could from our lists. The next morning, when I opened the box and my doll was in it, I was overjoyed. Then I looked at my Mom, and she had tears in her eyes. I knew that money was due for the mortgage that month. I understood for the first time in my life what she did to make our holiday “fulfilled”. To this day, I will never forget the joy of that doll, or the price it came at.
Years later, I lost that doll. However, I told my daughter about it. She was about 10. Her letter to Santa said “I don’t want anything for me, but I want my Baby Chrissy doll found and sent to my Mother. Well, of course I read the letter and told my Mother who had long forgotten how much that doll meant to me and the sacrifice she made for it. Long story short, to please my daughter, I began a search for that doll (or like), and found it on EBay. I began to bid on a $14.99 doll which by this time was a collectable. I realized someone else wanted this doll very much as well, as the bidding price was rising to an extreme amount. I called my Mother to mention it, low and behold it was my Mother bidding against me. I never laughed so hard in that moment. I told my Mother to stop bidding, and I bought the doll. Had it shipped to myself, created a Santa letterhead and wrote a note to my daughter that “Santa” had found her Mother’s doll and was returning it to me. It was amazing to see the joy in my daughter’s eyes. The end of this story is not so great. Because the doll originally cost $14.99, and me and my Mom wanted to please my daughter and were bidding against each other. I ended up paying $225.00 for the damn thing. Now it’s been years, and Baby Chrissy in her original box lives in my closet.
Do your best for gifts folks, don’t over do. Think about your stress levels, and take care.