by James Madison
(Wisconsin, United States)
If you know anything about my family, you know that we all look forward to the holidays. We're a very social, outgoing, family-oriented bunch, and Christmas is the one time of the year that we all get together, eat delicious food, share laughs and memories, and exchange gifts with one another.
Usually, the latter of those activities is a fun and memorable time, but one time 15 years ago now, that wasn't quite the case. At least it wasn't the case for yours truly. Allow me to explain.
Way back then, I was only nine years old. I was your typical young male, interested in nothing but food, sports, video games, and riding my bike. Also, like most children, I absolutely loved Christmas, and I couldn't wait to rip the wrapping paper off my presents and enjoy my new stuff.
That Christmas, I got plenty of gifts. My uncle got me a few new games for my Playstation, my parents got me a scooter, and my aunt got me, well, a set of pots and pans.
Yes, you read that right. My aunt Helen bought a set of pots and pans for a nine year old boy.
I opened the boxes and thought surely there must have been some mistake, but much to my surprise, I was wrong.
I remember looking over at my mom with what I can only assume was some sort of confused, yet horrified look on my face, and all I remember was her mouthing the words "say thank you" to me in return.
Here I was, a nine year old boy used to eating nothing but the Kraft Dinner and hot dogs his mom made him for dinner, receiving a set of cookware for the kitchen. I didn't understand the gift then, and I still don't understand it today.
Naturally, it was thoughtful, as nobody is owed a gift of any kind, and I'm sure my mom absolutely loved it (or maybe it was some sort of secret plan between the two I'll never know about), but I think my aunt Helen could use a quick crash course in shopping for the young ones.
Whatever the case, the rest of the Christmas party went off without any other confusion, and we all went home with our arms full of gifts and our bellies full of delicious foods. Even with the heavy set of pots and pans I would never once end up using, I'd say I was a lucky boy that Christmas day, and I will always be thankful for the love of my wonderful family.
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