I guess no one has written a new Christmas carol for 2020. However, the lyrics include “We’ll all be home for Christmas” and “All I want for Christmas is an Amazon card.”
Some of us skipped over the typical holiday specifics.
Who had the money for gifts and decorations? We were all busy promoting market share and building our toilet paper empire.
This year if you show up at Christmas without a bundle of toys, you can always say that your gifts are stuck in a cargo container in Long Beach.
The gift-giving tradition in my family has changed, mostly because we’ve grown up. We all have credit cards and we know how to press the button to display things in a cardboard box on our doorstep. If I tried to guess what my mom really needed or wanted, she probably already has it on her online list.
Of course, childhood is another universe. In an easier time, before our phones could talk and people still answered the door for carolers, our parents would let us wake them up before sunrise for the “Christmas Massacre.” After the grand unveiling, there was so much rubbish on the living room carpet that the place looked like a crime scene.
Mom knew we were greedy little ghosts and rode the tide of quantity versus quality. We rejoiced at a giant mound of presents that took so long to open that my men needed to drink two cups of coffee before going back to bed. Mother got used to buying everyday necessities and wrapping underwear and socks in beautiful plastic wrap. We did not recycle. Our stockings will overflow with toothbrushes, hair barrettes and crayons.
Hidden in the midst of all this, she would buy us anyway, we often got what our hearts wanted.
Our family has gone through many trends since childhood. In my many poor years I gave gifts and my family pretended they were wonderful treasures. We experimented with making names, shopping only for kids, buying food only, exchanging gifts, and swapping white elephants.
Last year was a pandemic, and dad was dying of cancer. Not many of us thought of going to the mall.
However, I remember what it’s like to have a baby, so I made sure to buy one for my nieces and nephews, ages 11-15.
Like most kids these days, his heart’s desire includes gift cards and more gift cards. Money, and even the type of plastic, is always the right size and the right color.
Do not get me wrong. I like some gift cards as long as they are given to me.
However, buying gift cards for kids doesn’t suit my aesthetic. Plus, they’ll know how much I’ve spent, rather than bargain shopping and pretend I’m generous.
Mom of Kids worked very hard last year to convince kids to make wish lists on Amazon. I have a bias against Amazon because when I actually want to buy something, I like the store that still has the front door and cash register. However, 2020 was a year for compromise.
The children approached the wish list task as if we had asked them to clean the kitty litter box. He ignored the repeated texts. Had there been a shipping bottleneck like last year in 2021, they would have got nothing.
We had the same run-around this year, but his mom must have been upset for the lists starting with Veterans Day. I was glad to find some clues, but then I took a closer look.
My niece wanted books. bright girl.
My niece is an artist, so I can understand the joy of seeing a story through the images. Still, when I looked at their selections I wondered whether they were called “graphic novels” because of the way the narrative works, or because of the violent content. The girl on the book cover looks like she’s leaving home to fight zombies or join a punk rock band.
All three of my family members had plush toys on their list, which can mean cute and crazy. Of course they were plush toys for video games played while separated from adults.
Then there was my sweetest, youngest nephew, who had eight items on his list, but only two that cost less than $200.
I bought a book, a video game, and a plush toy. Maybe next year we can’t bother with the list and I’ll be the aunt who gives out savings bonds — or gift cards.