This past Christmas came with some challenges in the form of stress, hives, stomach bugs, work overload and the like. On the other hand, it was the first time that Bug really got what was coming. He had been planning his wish list for months and was delighted by every Christmas decoration and experience that came along. He was a bit over-obsessed by the idea of presents and I was starting to become concerned that he was missing the meaning of Christmas entirely when he came home from preschool with a haphazardly wrapped package topped with a straggly piece of curling ribbon.
“I brought you a present, Mama,” he called excitedly as he entered the house. I was surprised by the gift, but assumed that his school had done some sort of craft as a gift for parents.
“Did you wrap it yourself?” I asked him.
“No, my teacher helped me. It’s for you and daddy. You have to open it together!” By this point, Bug was dancing in anticipation.
“Do you think we should save it for Christmas?” I asked him.
“No, it’s not that I kind of present.”
When Big Guy came back from putting down all of the kids’ bags and jackets, I made a big show of opening the present, tearing the paper slowly to build anticipation. It was the first time Bug had given us a gift that we hadn’t purchased ourselves and I was imagining how we would share this story for years to come.
“Do you like it?” My son asked eagerly. “It’s a macaroni and cheese box!”
I burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. In the stress of the holidays, it was exactly what I needed and I enjoyed retelling the story over the next few days. I’m looking forward to telling Bug, as he gets older, that he gave me the perfect present this Christmas. It was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.