Monday, December 22, 2008

Best Christmas Present Ever

What was your favourite Christmas Present ever?

I've wanted to be a writer since I learned how to read. When I was about eight I wrote my first Nancy Drew mystery. How I ended up an accountant in real life is a whole other story...Anyway, one of the things I needed to be a "real" writer was a typwriter.

As a twelve year old with a head full of stories and dreams, I lo...oo..nged for that typewriter.

With four kids and a struggling business my parents didn't have money for anything that wasn't a necessity. I used my babysitting funds for clothes and books and knew that if it wasn't something I had to have I wouldn't get it. I didn't feel deprived or anything -it's just the way it was. I didn't ask for the typewriter for Christmas because I knew it wasn't affordable.

Even now I get tears in my eyes thinking about the joy I felt when I saw that shiny, new typewriter under the Christmas tree.

But that gift was more than a typewriter. It was my parents saying they believed in me. That "I could." And that's a priceless gift for a shy, chubby twelve year old girl.


Annette Gallant said...

I love this story, Anne. Seriously, it put a lump in my throat.

My favourite gift isn't a Christmas one, but my story is similar to yours so I'm going to share.

As the oldest of six children, and coming from a family where money was very tight, I knew not to ask for things either.

However, when I was in Grade 3, my secret wish was to have a Barbie like my friends had. Not the cheaper knockoff versions I owned, but not just a plain ole Barbie either. I wanted one that came with accessories.

Anyway, one day my mother arrived home from shopping and surprised me with a real Barbie. One that came with skis and the whole ensemble. Somehow she must have known and splurged to give it to me.

LOL I'd like to say I still have that Barbie, but one Friday shortly after I got it, one of my friends asked to borrow it. I didn't want to say yes but I did. I waited all weekend for Monday so I could get it back, only to find out that her family had MOVED on the weekend. So not only did I lose my friend, but my precious Barbie.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Annette, it's funny how we remember the things we DID get and not the things we didn't.

Today, our kids get so much I wonder if they ever appreciate gifts in the same way we did.

That's sad about your Barbie. A tough age to learn that lesson about borrowing and lending. You learn pretty quickly to only lend things you can stand to give away.

Annette Gallant said...

Even though we can afford to give our kids more than our parents could give us, we've never gone overboard with gifts. It's worked out well because our kids don't ask or expect a lot, and both of them have a pretty good work ethic.

The next time I saw this friend was high school. LOL I was tempted to ask her if she still had my Barbie, but I decided to let it go. That story obviously bugged my daughter though because she still brings it up.