We are moving closer to Christmas Day and the mad dash to find the right gift for the right person moves closer to the deadline. The malls are crowded and the stores are strewn with items falling from the shelves.
The lines at cash registers are long and tensions can be high at times. Shoppers seem to forget the meaning of this holiday; they push through crowds and shove through doors.
A man standing on Lexington Avenue shakes a bell while standing next to a red bucket with a green sign above it that says, “Salvation Army.” He shivers from the cold winds that blow between the buildings in New York City’s streets. He says, “Merry Christmas,” rings his bell to attract attention of those who pass, and he hopes for the generosity of kind donations.
We put so much emphasis on the gifts we give and receive. But in truth, I cannot remember any of the gifts I received throughout the years.
I remember specific holiday seasons, but not the gifts. I remember my first real Christmas tree. I remember beautiful December snowfall in a town called Stroudsburg.
I remember the first time I decorated my own home with holiday lights. But more, I remember sitting in my living room after sundown. I remember feeling grateful while sipping from my coffee mug, sitting next to my Christmas tree, and suddenly, the gifts were less important.
Suddenly, I was like a kid enjoying the beauty that comes with this holiday. I felt the warmth of my house. I listened to the quiet stir, which changed from the sound of my furnace rumbling in the basement below.
Although the spirit of Christmas is more than the gifts we exchange; I do have a wish list. I have ideas of trips I would like to take.
I could use a vacation. I could use a trip to anywhere. In fact, I could use a trip to anywhere at all—so long as it was someplace I had never been to before like the Amalfi Coast, or say, somewhere in the islands of Fiji.
I could use a few gifts for around the house. A wood burning stove would be nice—or a fireplace. That would be good too.
I have always wanted one of those remote control airplanes that fly around in the sky. I would want something that looked like it came from World War I. This way, I could imagine chasing down the Red Baron, or dive bomb to the ground, but pull up just moments before impact.
I have a wish lists for my loved ones, however, that wish list is bigger than my wallet. I have been told jewelry is always a good thing. But I have bigger dreams, which again, involves a bigger wallet.
I would like to take my family to Europe or maybe track down the village my grandparents came from in Austria.
I would like to buy something for my wife—something better than just a gift. I want to find something better than diamond earrings or bracelets. And as the deadline approaches, I join the list of men who have yet to find the perfect Christmas gift.
I would like to get something nice for my daughter too. I have always wanted to buy her one of those large, Victorian-styled dollhouses. I want to design it and decorate the rooms with tiny furniture. We could pretend this was our castle. She has a small dollhouse. She calls the dollhouse, “Kimmel-ville.”
I guess I just want Kimmel-ville to be a little bit bigger and last a little bit longer.
I want to find a gift that makes my daughter’s eyes light up when she rips the gift wrapping. I want to buy gifts that make everyone happy. I want buy things that symbolize my love, because after all, gifts have become what this holiday is about.
I spoke to a friend of mine this morning. He had a certain glimmer in his eye. He was crying tears of grateful, happiness. It was a glimmer that can only be seen in a father’s eye, and perhaps this glimmer is only recognizable by other dads or parents like myself.
“My son just got the results from his PET Scan,” he told me.
“He’s cancer free!” he said.
“Can you believe that? My son is gonna be okay. This is the best Christmas I’ve had since he was born!”
Suddenly, I was reminded of what this holiday is truly about
And Suddenly, the gifts under my tree or the ones on my wish list seem less important.
Happy Holidays, folks!