Monday, November 27, 2006

great expectations


great expectations
Originally uploaded by mamazilla1972.



personally, i'm not one to have too many expectations. this goes quadruple for christmas. but, i wasn't always this way....

every december 5th, i'd write my santa letter and place it gently inside my stocking - making sure that it was not too deep 'cause who knows how bad santa's eyesight really is, right?

and every morning of december 6th, i'd wake to find the letter gone and a small candy or random bric a brac in its place. to me, it was a diminutive guarantee that i had indeed made contact with santa. i was assured that there was "something" in the works.

well, christmas day would finally saunter in and i was almost always disappointed. and i started to think there was something developmentally wrong with ol' kris kringle. don't get me wrong - it was ALWAYS great to get anything for christmas. i was ALWAYS thankful. but, i just never got quite what i wanted, despite the letter... i mean, i even started to suspect my penmanship or my spelling... and i was a champion, C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N, champion speller...

one year, i asked for twister. and who doesn't know what twister "the game that ties you up in knots" is, y'know? the game with the dots and the hands and feet and the bodies and the laughter, etc... on christmas morning, i knew from the small wrapped rectangular box that i didn't get the game. instead, i got a knock off, wanna-be barbie doll named "twister" (seriously people, they sold them at woolworth's).

another year, i asked for a pair of "candies" - i don't know why - i just wanted a pair. yes, i was much too young to have them. but i remember i wanted to be the "bad sandy" from grease - starting with the shoes (shut up. i knew plenty of boys who wanted to be "bad sandy" too) and lo and behold, i peer inside a shoebox (i sh*t you not) and there were a pair of candies... DOLLS. there were two, candies brand, wanna-be barbie dolls - a blonde and a brunette.

mind you - i NEVER asked for barbies in my santa letters. i thought dolls were so weird... i totally did/do not get the whole "doll play" thing... intellectually or physically... even when the paloma wants to play with dolls, i have to admit, i try to steer her to another activity because i just hate to play with dolls. i'm so glad that she has other friends who will play dolls with her because i just... i'm just not wired for it...

years later, after "the secret" was out, i realized how hard my mother (an immigrant who didn't know all that much about american culture to begin with and certainly did not have the money to buy the presents i asked for) tried to get me the things i "wanted" - not just the stuff i "needed". i'm making my mom a pair of those silly clogs.... i know she'll get a kick out of them, especially since she was the one who taught me how to knit and purl in the first place. :)

anyhoo... i do have a point to this post - chicago's empty stocking program.

some friends of mine have been doing this for a year or two now and if we actually have some $ to spare, i hope to start this tradition this year too. approximately, 20,000 letters are written by chicago area children from low income families to santa. if you send the sun times your contact info, they'll send you one of these letters. you are asked to spend at least $25 and that your gift be delivered by december 20. i've seen some of these letters and they just about break your heart with either too much cuteness and/or too much sadness...

well, we've been stricken down with "The Cold Virus That Ate Our Immune Systems"... i hope your holiday seasons got off to a happier start than ours! *cough* *hack* *wheeze*

3 comments:

Barb said...

I though maybe it was a communication gap thing. Still, she tried. :)

Angela said...

I'm so sorry you were so disappointed at Christmas, know how you feel, my immigrant parents usually didn't have any money for presents. That was really sweet of your parents, they tried, even though they didn't always get it right...

My children's school has a similar program, each class 'adopts' a family and we get a list of each family members' ages and the gender of the child, I take my kids shopping and we get presents for the children and the parents, it helps my children think of others during the holiday season.

mamazilla said...

barb - more like a communication CHASM... like the one i have with my 11 month old.... :) really, it's all good. i have good memories despite the confusion.

angela - my mom rocks. i thought my mom was cool way up until college. now, i realize even then, she was cool and i was just a freak who needed to grow up a bit.... that's a great program that your family is a part of. it's just heartbreaking to think that there are families/children out there who are is need of help and some holiday cheer and how much can one person (who isn't oprah) do?

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