Let us just take a moment to appreciate how flipping cute I was as a kid. Look at my tricycle skills! *They see me rollin’*
This is my whole family. This must have been the happiest day of everyone’s lives because I was there. (We’re all way better looking nowadays.)
When I was small we didn’t have a lot of money, but my parents worked their asses off and we never knew that we weren’t as well off as others. My sisters and I appreciated everything more and cherished our gifts. We only ever became somewhat more aware of the fact that we weren’t as well off until it came time for family Christmases, when our cousins got mountains of presents, and we would wait for our one special gift. And boy were those Christmases the best!
One of my most favourite memories: I don’t know how old I was. Father Christmas was a distant relative that year, I don’t remember who (I still believed in Santa at this stage), and he came in with a massive bag. After my sisters, all my cousins and I sang Christmas carols, Father Christmas started handing out the gifts. I watched as all my cousins got gift after gift after gift. I waited patiently. All I wanted in the whole world was a Barbie. She was a gymnast and she was flexible and had a gold medal around her neck. Finally, Father Christmas handed out all the gifts and got up, ready to leave. My heart shattered, I had gotten nothing. I went running up to him in a panic and squeaked: “And me?”. He laughed (in his best Santa impersonation) before looking in his bag, he was sure he’d handed them all out. After a good dig he found just one last gift that was missed. He pulled it out and read my name on the label.
I nearly cried from excitement, I remember my heart almost stopping. He gave me the present, and it was the exact shape of a Barbie box. When I opened it I couldn’t contain myself, it was the exact Gymnast Barbie I’d been hoping for. It was by far the best and most exciting Christmas of my life! I remember my parents most of all. They looked so happy to see me so happy, it warms my heart to think about that time. I look back, and getting that one gift that was so special to me meant way more than the mountains of exorbitant gifts my cousins received, and I believe I appreciate it all much more now, and it’s something I want my children to experience too.
Ps. Santa, Easter Bunny and the Tooth Mouse (because we never went with the Fairy like everyone else in the entire world) were debunked when I was about 6 or so years old. My middle sister felt the need to tell everyone the truth, and ruined it for many a neighbour. I believe we retell the story that she told the neighbours children on Easter Morning one year that my parents were the Easter Bunny, and she stayed up to watch them hiding the eggs around the yard so everyone should stick with her because she knew where to look. We laugh. But I stopped believing in these things very early on. No one should wonder why.