Parting thoughts on this Christmas day:
” and speaking of gifts, I should tell you a rule. It is not my rule, necessarily. It came from a very grumpy – looking man at a Holiday office party. A man coming down with a full-blown case of Scrooge itis . He had just unwrapped his dinky little present from under the office Tree. in tones of amused sorrow he said to nobody in particular.
You know, it’s not true that what counts is the thought and not the gift. It just isn’t true. My mother was pulling my leg on that one. I have collected so much gift – wrapped trash over the years from people who copped out and hurriedly bought a little plastic cheapy to give under the protective flag of good thoughts. I tell you, it is the gift that counts. Or, rather, people who think good thoughts give good gifts. It ought to be a rule – the brass rule of gift exchange.
And he stomped off towards a garbage can carrying his little gift as if it were a dead Roach.
Well, maybe so. It’s a kind of harsh judgment, and a little close for comfort. But the spirit of the season has been clear for a long time. God, who, it is said, started all this, cared enough to send the very best. On more than one occasion. And the wise men did not come bearing tacky knick-knacks. Even old Santa, when he’s making his list, he’s checking it twice. And the angels came bringing good news, which was not about a half price sale.
I do know what I want someone to give me for Christmas. I’ve known since I was 40 years old. Wind – up mechanical toys that make noises and go round and round and do funny things. No batteries, toys that need me to help them out from time to time. The old fashioned painted ones I had as a child. That’s what I want. Nobody believes me. It’s what I want, I tell you.
Well, okay, that’s close but not quite exactly it. It’s delight and simplicity that I want. Foolishness and fantasy and noise. Angels and miracles and wonder and innocence and Magic. That’s closer to what I want.
It’s harder to talk about, but what I really, really, really want for Christmas is just this; I want to be 5 years old again for an hour. I want to laugh a lot and cry a lot. I want to be picked up and rocked to sleep in someone’s arms, and carried up to bed just one more time. I know what I really want for Christmas. I want my childhood back.
Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make sense, but since when is Christmas about sense, anyway? It’s about a child, of long ago and far away, and it’s about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the door of our hearts something wonderful to happen. A child who is Impractical, unrealistic, simple-minded, and terribly vulnerable to Joy. A child who does not need or want or understand Gifts of socks or potholders.
The Brass rule is true.
from the late Robert Fulghum; Pages 96, 97 and 98 of: all I really need to know I learned in kindergarten, uncommon thoughts on common things.