What was your favorite Christmas present you ever received?
It may not have been the one that cost the most or was even the hardest to find. Through the years, I have received some wonderful gifts but my favorite one has not as much to do with the present itself as it does with the magic that surrounded its arrival.
I was eight years old the year that I wished for a Barbie Dream House. For several weeks, each night before I went to bed I would close my eyes as tight as I could and wish over and over for this ultimate gift. On Christmas morning, I found a large, beautifully wrapped box with a red shiny bow under the tree with a tag that said my name.
My small hands ripped at the crisp paper and it tore with crinkling sound. With wide, excited eyes, I searched for the toy that was underneath the red and green sparkled paper. I remember jumping with delight when I saw my Barbie Dream House, standing tall with the crumpled wrapping paper underneath it.
I stared at my beloved gift in disbelief. I HAD wished loud enough. I HAD hoped hard enough. Somewhere in the dark of night, through the frigid, snowy weather, a magical force had delivered my dream present. Believing made anything possible.
What I didn’t know is that the smiles on my parents’ faces were just as bright as mine that morning. It would take me many years to realize that giving actually feels better than receiving. My parents, of course, were the ones that made my dream come true but were determined to keep the magic of Christmas alive for as long as they could.
In the years that followed, there would be more wishes fulfilled and more favorite gifts but none ever quite the same as that special year of the Dream House.
As an adult and a parent, I still enjoy the allure of the Christmas season. A display of twinkling lights always puts a smile on my face. I love the sound of church bells and Christmas carolers. It warms my heart to spend time baking cookies with my children, watching them laugh and sample their work. I spend minimal time shopping and use more care in wrapping the gifts. I am never too busy to lie under the tree, look up and count the ornaments with my kids.