Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 79

Ho, ho, ho …
What’s the different between Tiger Woods and Santa Claus? Santa only has three ho’s ….

As I finish wrapping gifts and dash off to the shops for some last minute ones, I reflect on Christmas’s past. I can remember just about every Christmas as a kid and just about every gift. I will never forget the year I got my electric piano/organ and cried with gratitude because piano lessons was all I had dreamed of for a year. That organ is now sitting idol in my garage amongst the old photo albums, old kids toys and pre-loved furniture that may be needed when we get our holiday house (one day!). But I still look at it fondly with wishes that I was a little more musical. My visions of becoming a pianist died after three years of useless piano lessons ascertained my fingers/eye/brain coordination just weren’t up to pianist standard. It’s a shame the organ is so ugly or I could put it up here in the house … it was in Mum and Dad’s for years … however the lid was kept closed and it was used as a side board to store photos and pot plants. We’ll save it for the holiday house ….

Then there was the year I got Donkey Kong on a double screened hand held game! Wooo Hooo. That was awesome. I guess it was the equivalent of the Nintendo DS only you couldn’t swap games. Donkey Kong was it. Do DS do a version of Donkey Kong? I need to get that. Unfortunately I took Donkey Kong to school with me and it mysteriously fell out of my bag never to be seen again. Bugger.

Oh, and I got my first two wheel bike at Christmas. It was a red sparkly dragster with big handle bars and a long red sparkly seat. It was called a Black Stallion I think. Would that be right? I came with training wheels and I remember when I was about five years old I was riding the bike on our quiet suburban street and a teenager whizzed past me on his road bike screaming at me to get off the road because training wheels were for babies. I think that was the push I needed and I went straight home and got Dad to remove the training wheels.

I remember being at my grandparents house with all my cousins and being the first to wake up to find we all had received video games consols for the TV. You see, Santa didn’t wrap the bigger gifts. They were just left out beside our Santa sacks so you could see the ultimate Christmas prize the moment you woke up. Do you remember the original video games? My consol came with tennis, squash and shooting. None of this fancy X Box stuff with 3D realistic action and sound. Noooo. My first video game was in black and white with two lines signifying the players and a bouncing square signifying the ball, with the original game stick you wrapped your entire hand around. Anyway, I woke up first to see I had received one, and my cousins had one sitting next to their Santa sack too. Their’s looked better. It came with two guns. (Well, there were two of them after all - I am an only child.) Hmmm. Do you think anyone would know if I swapped? No one else had been up so they’d have no idea which one Santa gave to who. Luckily my integrity kicked in and the big swaparoo didn’t take place ….

One year all I wanted was a pogo stick but it didn’t arrive. I was pretty sad. What did arrive shortly after Christmas however was Dad’s new horse who ended up with the name Pogo to signify the much anticipated gift. That Pogo lasted a lot longer than his name sake would have and actually became my much loved and treasured horse when I was a teenager. He was truly one of my best friends and he lived until he was 30. I was devastated when he eventually died (about ten years ago) and my wonderful father went to the significant trouble of burying him for me (instead of sending him off for dog meat). Dad even put a Hessian bag over his head to cover his eyes so the dirt wouldn’t get in them.

Yep, memories of Christmas’ past are what drive me to keep the magic of Christmas alive and well in the spirit of my kids. It’s such a beautiful time of year for family, reflection, gratitude, celebration and love. And it is with that sentiment I will tackle my (hopefully) last trip to the shops today to join the crowds for some last minute spending. So as I thump the steering wheel in frustration in the car park, and dodge and weave the mall meanderers, I will say to myself “family, reflection, gratitude, celebration and love” and a whole lot more that is WAY better than a pogo stick.

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