December 24, 2005

I remember the Christmas that I was about 12 or 13 years old. We lived in South Dakota at the time. My mom sat us all down - my older sister, my little brother, and me and said that she would like for us to consider how good we had life. She proposed that all the money she would have spent on us for Christmas be spent instead on the children at the nearest Indian reservation. We all agreed, and so mom went out and got all the gifts. She had us pose in the front entry of our house surrounded by toys while she snapped photos of us. Now after all these years, I will admit something I'm ashamed to say that I felt at the time: I recall thinking all the while that mom was really going to get us something. She didn't. Not one thing. But that was the deal, and for some greedy reason, I was disappointed that mom stuck to it. I also look back and although it was a really nice thing for her to do, we kids had no real active part in it, except nodding our heads agreeing to forfeit our gifts. Yes, I do know that we had it good, and didn't need a bunch more "things" that we would likely not appreciate as much as those children did. However, we didn't get any of the joy of shopping for those gifts, and we didn't even get to go with her to deliver them. I know that sounds mean and petty of me, but it's a Christmas memory, and that is after all, the topic. If I had it to do over again, I would suggest that mom let us have a more active role in seeing the good that we were doing.

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