December 20, 2011

Shiny Paper ~ The Gifts

holiday blog party 2

Hi everyone! I'm Jordan and I blog over at Shiny Paper! I was really excited when I was asked to participate in this holiday party! I'm a newer reader of Chantilly's blog and a new listener of her music and I have been so impressed. I thought for this party I would talk a little about one of my favorite holiday memories.

One year me and my three siblings had noticed that there were quite a few more gifts under the tree than in previous years. We tried not to think much of it, but as kids we couldn't help it. We'd sit and count the gifts everyday, almost ten each (hey, that was a lot for us!) just to make sure nothing had changed. Some were big, some were small, but regardless, it was looking like it was going to be an amazing Christmas.

Christmas Eve came and all of us were in fits of joy the entire day. Another Christmas tradition of ours was to watch Titanic on Christmas Eve afternoon. I know this seems like an odd choice but honestly my logic is valid: it's a really, really long movie. When you're eleven, the days leading up to Christmas seem to drag on endlessly, so a four hour movie that can hold your attention is always a safe bet. Sometimes we'd watch it twice, that's almost a full workday! That night, we asked our parents if we could open a gift, just one, to tide us over until morning came. They exchanged glances and gave us the okay, but their conditions were that they got to pick which gift we got to open. We agreed, because it didn't matter, we still got to open one!

We all sat on the couch and our parents selected one gift for each of us, being very careful as to which one they chose. When we were all seated with our gift they gave us the okay to open it. We tore into that wrapping paper as if it were on fire, ribbon flying everywhere. After the five seconds in which it took to expose our gifts everything fell silent. The four of us were all holding identical bags of white cotton Hanes socks.

We had to laugh a little, we thought it so kind of our parents to get the boring gifts out of the way. We went to bed with hopes and dreams of toys the next morning.

I probably didn't sleep a wink that night and about five am, all of us were upstairs (im)patiently waiting for our parents. We sent my youngest sister into their room to wake them up so we could get this started. I remember almost disregarding my gift from Santa, so much in fact that I couldn't even tell you what it was. I was too excited to discover what had been concealed under the tree for the last few weeks.

My parents handed us each a gift at a time, and after once again tearing through them in record time, we were greeted with some form of undergarment. I had piles of socks and underwear that towered over me, most kids don't see that many Fruit of the Loom bags in a lifetime! I noticed the faces of my siblings softly crumbling as they revealed a new pair of socks or an undershirt...except my younger brother. He was elated with every boxer brief he unwrapped, so excited to be adding to his top drawer (he was nine). He exclaimed, "thank you!" after every package and discarded the candy-cane wrapping with such care. I, however, was disappointed.

When all the packages were unwrapped and the paper was casually placed in the recycle bin my parents looked as us with humble smiles on their faces. They'd asked us if we were happy with Christmas and we all muttered, "yes" (except my little brother who screamed, "YESSS". My parents just smiled and explained that this was more than a lot of kids get on Christmas and we should be thankful we have clothing to cover our backs. Ah, so this was to be a learning experience Christmas, I remember thinking. But alas, I understood, and I really was in need of underwear, most of mine needed to be retired weeks ago.

Now most people think that after I say that last part I reveal that my parents went into the next room and brought out the toys...but they didn't! My parents honestly only got us underthings for Christmas, and the following years we were all a lot more grateful than we were that year. No present counting, no double features of Titanic on Christmas Eve (only the traditional single viewing), just appreciation for all that we had. It was a very memorable holiday, and I still think it was probably the best Christmas that my little brother had in his entire life.

Thanks again, Chantilly, for letting me participate in your party!

Shiny Paper


  1. man...that really would have been a kid nightmare...but good for you parents for making such a true statement and sticking to it. I don't think I could have done it.

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  3. Awww Jordan! I like this post! I could really picture it all. My husband and I got the same things for each other for our birthdays!! lol

    Edited for punctuation error!!! lol

  4. Hi, Jordan! What a great story! And that's what Christmas is all about! It makes me mad to see people worrying about getting presents for everybody :/.

    Hope you're having a great week!


  5. Quite a heart-warming story...I'm sure as a young child that would have rocked my world a bit, but your parents were so right...Christmas is so much more than the gifts ...I wish more people would realize this and stop making it such a commercial holiday.

  6. wow. I loved that story. you write so well, too. but that would be a great lesson... I kind of wish I'd learned it as a young one!


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