Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas

I can’t remember my age when I received the most unforgettable Christmas gift from my father. It was a gift wrapped box (I can’t tell what’s inside) and my father told me not to open it until the Noche Buena time. The box was on the table, and I kept looking at it. I shook it, I peeked at it until at last I can’t take it anymore; I unwrapped it.

It was a string powered (pull the string to make it fly) helicopter. I was ecstatic. I didn’t know how to fly it but just holding the helicopter made me very happy. When my father arrived, he found out what I did, and he became angry. Not really angry but disappointed, but he looked angry to me.

But he took me by the hand and we went to the vacant lot across our house, and there he flew the helicopter. My brother was there and they each took turn flying the toy helicopter while I was breathless chasing it, picking it up, giving it back to them, and then joyfully watched while they flew the toy helicopter over and over again...I can’t tell how many hours or minutes my father and brother flew the helicopter but it seemed long enough to make a lasting impression on me.

It was the most expensive gift I received from my father because it was the gift that captured my imagination. Of course the toy was cheap, and my father had bought more expensive Christmas gifts like shoes, shirts, pants etc. But as a child, the value of a gift is not measured in money; it is measured in the joy that it could bring. My father could have given a branded shirts or pants, and I wouldn’t have cared about it because I didn’t care about my looks then. But that helicopter made me think of flight and that’s something money can’t buy, gifts that made me imagine things, made me think of things beyond my understanding then.

I was saddened when I found the toy chopper inside our chicken coop broken. It was really my brother who enjoyed it, but I did not complained….hmmm, maybe I whined.
Christmas has different meanings especially in today’s materialistic world, but for children the best gift is still the gift of time, of simply sharing the warmth and happiness of family and of the season. It is not expensive yet it lasts a long, long time.

Merry Christmas!

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