With a young son, Christmas was not a major production although we all strived to make it special. It was important that baby’s first Christmas be filled with special memories we will share with him through pictures and stories when he’s a little older. But of course, our good intentioned gifts were not so well received.
In early November when my son went through a surge of developmental milestones, I upgraded Christmas. He was certainly not going be passive about Christmas activities. No, he is a boy who is always exploring, figuring things out, learning, never motionless. Even in sleep, my son reminds me of those grills they use to cook hotdogs on at the super-store snack bar… the one with the rollers.
But on Christmas morning, after we had all raised our expectations to insanity, we presented him with his first gift. I don’t remember what gift #1 was (I have mom brain) but I will never forget what he did with it. After concluding that the object he was holding had an external layer which could be extracted from unidentified item, he carefully tore a small piece away. It was like he already knew his family is full of pranksters and it might be a trick. He paused for a long moment, holding the gift in one hand and the torn piece of wrapping paper in the other.
He put down the gift in favor of the torn piece of paper.
We were all amused and continued to watch him examining the scrap, after all, he was what we all considered “our Christmas gift.” He looked again at the object he had removed the paper from and picked it up again. Surely he was going to tear into it now!
Very carefully, he held the scrap of paper up to the area where he had removed it.
I looked at the tree and knew I had a lot of unwrapping to do.
As I opened his gifts and presented them to him, he continued holding onto that tiny scrap of paper. Occasionally, he showed interest in some of his gifts, but it wasn’t until an empty cup caught his attention that he let go of the torn wrapping paper.
In the days that followed Christmas, he has taken a liking to some of his gifts. But now, we might have had a few more coins in our pockets if we had just taken some spoons from the kitchen, dug old remote controls out of the couch cushions, or given him the lid from a shoebox. For his first birthday on Friday the 13th, I’m thinking giving him a post-it note.