As you may have noticed, the Wenches are doing celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with daily little snippets from our childhood holidays. It's my turn to share, and as I cleaned up crumpled wrapping paper and tangled ribbons this year's holiday, it got me to thinking about presents past.
It’s funny how certain things stick in one’s mind . . . When I was very young, Christmas morning was always such a magical time—the tree glittering with its colorful lights, the stockings bulging with sweet treats, the presents beckoning with hand-lettered name tags. But there’s one present I remember above all others.
I was three, and as I had an older brother, I wanted to imitate everything he did. So it goes without saying that dolls were not on my wish list. (Like Pat, I never grew to like girly things. I was always a complete tomboy, and to this day I’d probably choose L.L. Bean boots over Manolo Blahnick stiletto heels) In any case, my brother wanted a cowboy outfit, so naturally I did too. My parents, to their everlasting credit, did not object to this gender-bending request and saw fit to grant my wish. Well, as you can see by my picture, I was one very happy buckaroo that morning.
But it’s memorable for more than that one moment. For some reason, that outfit really sparked my imagination. I spent countless hours creating elaborate stories and acting them out. (The poor family dog, who was very patient with me riding him bareback.) I become immersed in my own little world . . . and was inspired to write my first book about the Wild West! (Even then I was a horrible speller, but alas, Crayolas didn’t come with Spell-Check. I took many years of kidding about ‘horeses’ from my family.) I guess what I’m getting at is that present triggered a passion. The West gave way to Regency England, but my love for losing myself in my own make-believe world and spinning stories with people and events that came to life in my own little brain was a gift that stayed with me for a lifetime. I’m forever grateful for that beribboned box that held a pint-size ten gallon hat and fancy boots.
So how about you? What’s the most memorable gift you ever received? And did you ever get one that sparked a lifelong interest in something?
Happy Holidays, everyone! May you all have a happy and healthy 2011.