The Gift That Keeps on Giving

SAM_0468‘Tis the season for gift giving and receiving. Whether one celebrates, Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas, or is Druid, there is usually tradition that includes food, family and gifts. Well, isn’t that nice.

Bah. Humbug. Over the years, I have gotten increasingly grumpy about this tradition. Part of the reason is having to spread cheer over multiple states as we go over the river, through the woods and up a hill to grandmother’s house. Another is the endless things-to-do list that comes from orchestrating magic for multiple generations in multiple households. I thought my kids were NEVER gonna outgrow that damn elf on a freaking shelf. Why did the elves have to make messes? Who decided THAT? Couldn’t an elf CLEAN a mess? But when you know your kids are gonna go to school and compare their elf’s antics with what their friend’s elf did the night before, you let the bugger get into the Christmas cookies and make a mess. I still haven’t forgiven the friend who let HER kids’ elves go get fast food one night, leaving half-eaten hamburgers and wrappers in their mini van.

Try to top that. Thank heavens our elves weren’t so A type.

Of course there’s orchestrating magic for the Big Show. By the time Santa arrived at my parents’ house every year, spousal unit and I lay prostrate on the floor, unable to move, trying to figure out how to get a Barbie Jeep from West Virginia to Nashville. Santa’s miracle was to get it to my mom and dad’s place. Our miracle was to get it home.

Then the offspring did what offspring do and they grew up. The magic faded, as did our desire to make it. That’s when my hum-bugginess really kicked in. I have to admit, the light in their eyes, the excitement and joy that came from the magic of believing made all of the travel, orchestration and work almost worth it. Without the leap of faith that helped elves create messes and Santa bring Barbie Jeeps, the motions were just that: motions.

And it is gonna be a LONG time before grandkids bring back the magic. Or at least it had better be.

Then I bought a vintage mini camper and named her Daisy. It is amazing what a hunk of metal, vinyl and paneling can do to bring magic back into a life. For some reason, the potential of Daisy brings back the potential of me. I am day dreaming again. For example, I think next year, after Daisy is restored, we are going to decorate her for the season. Who says reindeer can’t pull a camper? Or maybe pink flamingoes. Heck, when magic is in the air anything is possible!

Daisy has a generous spirit. Just think of what she has already brought to the Caldwell family. Joy. Esprit des corps. A sense of adventure. A renewed need for Band Aids. I think Daisy would like to be the bearer of gifts next year, after she is mobile and recaptures her good looks. Maybe Daisy will deliver toys in neighborhoods in which Santa needs a little helper. Maybe she will serve hot chocolate and cookies near the mission.

Daisy’s generous spirit has been mirrored by my friends with generous spirits. I’ve received the most fun gifts in honor of Daisy this holiday season. One is a mini camper ornament and another is a cleverly crafted birdhouse, assembled from metal in the shape of a mini camper. These gifts make me smile. And giggle. And feel a little bit of the magic that comes from the season of food, family and gifts. God bless us every one.


3 thoughts on “The Gift That Keeps on Giving

  1. Oh, I think I need a Daisy in my life, Tina. After retiring from retail serfdom, I “KNEW” that the holidays would become magical again and that I would be warbling holiday songs at the spinet (or in the car) etc. Um. Not so much…… We are leaving up the outdoor lights, now that it has snowed, and I feel a little like Tinkerbell reviving on the floor of the lantern when I see them sparkling in the darkness…. Can we leave the lights up till spring?


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