Friday, December 07, 2007

Holiday Wishes

This morning I played around with a photo from Kelly's new camera (above), thinking about last weekend. I had Katie's two oldest, Stephie and Scottie, on Saturday. I needed to buy a filter for the fridge at Sears and pay a bill at Penney's. You don't have to know my mall to know that these stores lay at opposite ends of the shopping maze. It's like that everywhere, and the playground for the kids is right in the middle. Talk about taking kids into a candy store -- try the mall at holiday time. "Can we build a bear, buy a Webkin, this Mickey the size of Godzilla?" How can they resist? People get advanced degrees in how to drive kids into a feeding frenzy, the goal being to turn them into credit addicts before they can multiply and divide. How early do you explain to kids that those build-a-bears were made by kids their age, kids who were denied schooling and sunshine for their pleasure. If our bright eyed kids are too tender to know this, what about the tenderness of the faceless others? Do I always have to be a wet blanket on fun? Am I just a wet blanket? I stood there in the mall holding Stephie and Scottie's hands, both of them holding slurpies in the other and just said, "no, no, no," conflict raging inside of me. How much to you tell them? When?

Years ago I wrote a Christmas poem that is entirely too sentimental to ever publish. But I'm going to put it up here as we all head into another weekend of shopping. CNN will be charting our progress on Monday, weighing it against last year's binge, a report card for all the high cost marketing degreed.

December comes.
I non-stop-shop.
To guard against a yuletide flop.
When all the gifts I give go back.
I sigh. But, hey –
who’s keeping track?
What do you give to those who have?
Computers, bikes and skates –
Enough sweaters to warm Cleveland,
DVDs and tapes.
Sneakers, games and books,
magazines and jeans.
What could Christmas bring
that’s well within my means?

What if I give you patience
the next time you get stressed?
What if I say, okay,
I know you did your best.
The next time you fall short,
what if I lend a hand?
Or if things get confused,
I help you make a plan.

The next time you act smart,
what if I try to learn.
If my gift is kindness,
would that be returned?
sara holbrook
copyright 1995 all rights reserved


Unknown said...

Mom, you are getting GOOD at photoshop! I love what you did with the photo. I want lessons at Christmas!

Lee Ann Spillane said...

I agree! Sara, I want lessons too-- how did you get the gold colors so sparkly? I've been trying to learn how to create gold on photoshop for weeks now (to no avail!).