Monday, December 11, 2006

The Ghost of Christmas Past

It’s that special time of year again; soon, presents of all shapes and sizes will magically appear under the tree. The moment when a child’s high hopes of their requests to Santa will be granted as a reward for their year’s worth of being well behaved.

Well, I’m here to tell you, that’s a load of reindeer shit or, at least, it was in my case. One of my earliest lessons of dealing with disappointment happened one Christmas Eve long ago.

I clearly recall having asked for an ice cream maker. But what did I get instead? A bicycle. Now, some of you may be wondering what's so bad about that? Well, what in the hell was I going to do with a bike when I didn’t even know how to ride one?

Sadly, for the first few days, I propped the bike upside down and I peddled with my hands in a vain effort to make ice cream.

Obviously, that didn't work out like I'd hoped. So, eventually - after many bruises - I learned how to ride that damned thing and gave up on the idea of homemade bliss.

Okay, so maybe that wasn't so bad in retrospect. But just allow me to explain something to you for a second. It wasn’t so much getting something I didn’t ask for; it was mostly getting some cheap knock off of the thing I asked for in the first place.

One year, I desperately wanted a Simon electronic game or, in the very least, a Merlin. Don’t even ask me what I unwrapped instead. The memory of it was so traumatic that I cannot even recall the name. Instead, I lovingly refer to it as the toy that was NOT a Simon.

So, to all of you who call yourself parents out there, a word to the wise: never get anything that you think is the same thing because it’s cheaper and they’ll never know the difference. They know, believe me, they know.

It would be better for tinsel to fly out of your ass for all eternity than to get the knock-off present.

And another thing, if you have more than one child, please do not address one game/toy to the entire family and leave it at that.

Again, it would be better to shit broken ornaments for 12 days straight than to do something so thoughtless as that.

Now, bring that stupid piece of crap back to the store and get what they asked for while there’s still time!

Go ahead - dash away all - the psychological welfare of your child depends on it.


Blogger The Phoenix said...

One Christmas morning, I awoke to find nothing from Santa. I was 6. My father explained that sometimes, Santa can't get to all the houses before Christmas morning.

I remember getting a lego toy sometime that week. Maybe it was 2 or 3 days later. I have no idea what the hell happened and never discussed it with my parents.

All I know is that it was damaging.

10:46 AM, December 11, 2006  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I don't think that I was spoiled, but there was only one Christmas where I was disappointed. I was 11 and all I wanted was a new football. I loved football and my old football had been popped on a barbwire fence. I knew on Christmas day that when I saw that flat present that it was not a football. It was a caligraphy set. Now the reason my parents got me this was that I had horrible problems with my handwriting at school. They thought this would help my writing fun, they were wrong.

10:49 AM, December 11, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

You poor Phoenix! You're a good son for not discussing it, as I'm sure they felt like crap enough already.

Mark. Yeah, Christmas presents should be for pure fun. Leave the practical things for other days of the year.

1:55 PM, December 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point well taken. Excuse me while I take my Rookie Monster and Tickle Me Almo back to the store.

6:22 PM, December 11, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

Ray, I don't think you need to worry just have about 5 years, give or take... :)

6:29 PM, December 11, 2006  
Blogger Fated said...

"It would be better for tinsel to fly out of your ass for all eternity than to get the knock-off present." That made me giggle uncontrollably.

I remember one christmas. I was on my last present. You always take a lot of pleasure in the last present because you have to wait a fun year before you get another one. I ripped it open. Turns out it was really for my brother, but was labelled wrong! I don't think any christmas gift has ever disappointed me as much as that one.

11:33 PM, December 11, 2006  
Blogger Ben Heller said...

My christmas memories are dominated by Mom and Dad getting my brother an Atari games console, and me...ME ! a f*$king bicycle. Man was I pissed off

12:04 AM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

Fated - glad I could be of some amusement. I can't believe that happened! That's horrible. I'm thinking that falls into the major faux pas category, for sure.

Ben - we should write a book together called Cycles of Trauma. I'm sorry your brother got the Atari.

Or better yet, all of us here could form a support group: Children who Received Awful Presents (CRAP).

"Hi, my name is Ben, and I got a bike for Christmas." "Hi, Ben!!"


5:33 AM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger mindy said...

i'd like to join this club...
i wanted a barbie doll house.. and i didn't get it. i can't remember what i got.. but, it wasn't barbie!!
oh.. so, now that i have a son.. he's getting whatever he wants.. luckily he keeps telling me that all he wants is a red fire truck. done!!

7:27 AM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

Mindy - hopefully he doesn't mean a full-sized one, otherwise you'll have to set off the fire alarm on Christmas morning. Be prepared! ;)

7:52 AM, December 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...your story sounds like my childhood to the "t"...I remember being told every year that if I didn't make a list that I could expect not to get "a damned thing" (yes, that is a true quote). So, there I would be, sticking my tongue halfway out my mouth trying to think of what those things I wanted most from the past year. Painstakingly, I would write everything down I could think of, and I even took into consideration how much things costed (of course always being fed lines of guilt at every turn, how "lucky I was"...blah blah blah). So finally I would turn in the list, only to find out on Christmas I would not receive, not one "damned thing" that was on that list! :(

9:51 PM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

I don't recall ever actually making a list. Your experience was kind of harsh, but I know about the guilt-tripping deal - a Catholic thing, I believe.

But you know what? You can get whatever you want now! One of the perks of adulthood. :)

5:33 AM, December 13, 2006  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

hee hee.... I still have my Merlin! I just saw they put it back out again, but it's a lightweight plastic piece of junk. You know it's out there for us nostalgists. Can you see a child today settling for nine blinking light games?

10:57 AM, December 14, 2006  

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