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Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Gift I Gave

The best Christmas gift that I ever got was one that I gave.  I was in high school, living with my mother, my sister, and my young nephew, Michael.  It was the first Christmas for my nephew.  He was nearly 1 year old, being born at the end of December the year before.  I can recall the memory very clearly.   It was very special occasion for me as it was for my family.  We did not have a lot of money, but we hoped that his first Christmas would be very special for him.  We all woke up early that Christmas eager to share the first Christmas with Michael.  We opened his first gift first.  We unwrapped a couple of our presents and then we opened a small, push tricycle for Michael.  He sat on it as if it was the chariot of a 1 year old child.  We quickly opened another of his  gifts.  It was a green choo-choo train. 

Michael did not want to get off of his chariot, but we were eager to share with him his next gift.  He gazed upon his green choo-choo without much interest, yet we wanted him to enjoy that gift as much as he did his last.  We lifted him off the push-tricycle and he immediately began crying.  We placed him on his green choo-choo and, within an instant, he stopped crying. The small child’s face smiled with delight.  It was this gift that I gave which was greater than any gift that I ever received.

The green choo-choo had two pieces.  It had a green engine with a red horn and his had a red caboose perfect for a small child to ride around in.  I can recall my young nephew enjoying his favorite Christmas gift for the next year.  He did not grow out of it in a hurry.  He enjoyed the gift all year long.

We were all living in a small house in a nice part of the suburbs.  The dining area of the kitchen was large.  Sometimes me and my sister would sit down in the front of the train and put Michael in the back of it.  We would ride him in it around the kitchen while the small child smiled and laughed with glee. 

I can recall gifts that I received as a child.  When I was very young I collected Star Wars toys.  I had an extensive collection of small wax figures in hopes of collecting every one that could be found in the original trilogy.  After the novelty of Star Wars wore off I collected Transformer robots.  Once again I wished for an extensive collection.  When I was a little older I collected Nintendo video games.  I enjoyed these childhood gifts and toys that I received, however none of these gifts were as special to me as the choo-choo train that I gave to my nephew on his first Christmas.
My nephew is now an adult with a son of his own.  We are not as close as we were when he was young.  Yet, the special memories that I shared with my nephew when he was a child and especially at Christmas are often reflected upon.  I can remember the gifts that I received as a child, but they seem to be trivial in retrospect.  There were other gifts that I gave to family members and friends but they seem to be insignificant compared to the joy that I was able to give to my young nephew all those years ago.   Looking back at all my Christmas’s it is clear that the best gift that I ever received was one that I gave.


Anonymous said...

Great thoughts. Have a great holiday season.

Arlee Bird said...

Those early years of innocent childhood are such fun as we enjoy the magic they are experiencing. I recall when my brothers and sister were very young I would always help my mother do the gift shopping and assemble the Christmas gifts that needed to be put together. I would try to find unique things to give each of them and would get such enjoyment watching them have a good time. It's fun to bring happiness to another. Nice memory, Daron.

A Faraway View

Jagoda said...

Your nephew was much loved and lucky to have you in his life as a child. You were close exactly when you needed to be, when he needed you to be. I am most touched by the fact that you still hold this memory so close to your heart.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet way to learn the delight of giving rather than receiving! :)

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