‘Tis the time of year again when twinkling lights greet you at the town’s main roads. People rush around looking for that special present for their loved ones or just to get something for someone because they feel they have to. ‘Tis a time to enjoy the merry vibe of the world… to look forward to family and friends gathering around the Christmas table and open those carefully wrapped presents.
It makes me stop and think about the "other" people. The ones that gather in their dingy huts and wonder what all the fuss is about. For those who have been introduced to the meaning of Christmas, even a full glass of water, boiled to kill most of the germs or a patched blanket to keep them warm is a treat. All over the world people in different degrees of wealth gather to exchange that Christmas gift. Whether it is a new pair of designer shoes or a new "second hand" pair of runners. The presents given with love all have the same value.
I remember my childhood. Three brothers and myself. A father who worked hard trying to provide for his family and a mother who tended to the apartment and the children. Money was a luxury. Our clothes where worn to rags. Clean rags. Stitched rags. Not the latest fashions, but warm and clean. I can not remember ever having to feel ashamed of how I looked. My parents took care of that.
So when Christmas came around and we were handed our presents, it was the most exiting time of our lives. Although mother had threatened us a thousand times during the run of the year that we would not be getting anything at Christmas, she never enforced that threat. Christmas was just too special for that. All over the world children were opening their pressies. Many received a new TV, bicycles, computers, TV games and the likes of that. We would discover a warm jumper, socks and shoes, or any useful garment to last us through the year. To us that was a pleasure. We used to rush into our rooms and try them on. I would complain bitterly if I was told to take them off again …or not to get them dirty.
Just to make the day a bit more special, my father used to buy us a little extra present each. A toy gun for my younger brother, a VW Combi bus with a light that would switch off when you stuck your finger over the top. I think I had more fun with this VW than my brother, but it could be because he could not find it most of the time.
One Christmas I received a doll with long brown hair. She closed her eyes when you cradled her. She was a dream come true. I called her "Olga", after my mother and over the years her eyes no longer closed and her hair had a new style, amateur hairdresser I was at the age of 8. I had her for years and no matter how new the next present where, Olga was always by my side at the opening ceremony of the Christmas Presents.
And finally to get to the point I was trying to make. It does not matter how much money you have to spend at Christmas. ‘Tis the love that goes into the present that counts. I would vouch for a loving smile and a hug. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!