Parenting Humor

The True Spirit of Christmas

by Alana Morales

christmasOriginally when I sat down to write my annual Christmas column, I had several potential hot topics to choose from. Let's see, do I talk about my writers version of the 12 Days of Christmas, complete with requests for ear plugs and editor contracts or the difficulty husbands have when buying gifts for their wives (to which I can add a jewelry cleaner from my beloved). Or maybe I could write about the chaos of Christmas day with a large family. Surely, there are many moms out there that can relate to chaos.

I settled on writing about the spirit of Christmas. There are actually two spirits of Christmas - there's the traditional one that makes us all feel warm and fuzzy inside and then there's the one that makes people yell, swear and gesture wildly while trying to find gifts for all the people on their list, whether they really like them or not.

I was planning to address how bad this time of year has gotten, especially when you look at the amount of yelling and screaming that occurs between complete strangers at this time of year. I even had a story about a cute little 70 something year old grandmother who flipped off my husband and I. it seems she misunderstood our gestures - we were trying to let her know that she could have the spot we were going to pull into, and well, she gave us another gesture entirely.

I was planning to write about all of this, but that changed when I witnessed a small, but powerful, example of the true spirit of Christmas this past weekend.

My family and I were waiting to have our pictures taken at our local Target and due to some snafu or another, they were running late. Really late. Like, an hour and a half late.

While the various sets of parents were trying to keep their kids entertained without messing up their clothes, I noticed two little boys playing with in the bubble bath aisle. When it was time for one of the kids to leave, he told the other little boy that he was his new friend and that he was going to go buy him a present.

About 20 minutes later, the first kid returned to the picture area. There brief conversation went like this:

Kid 1: "Hey kid, hey friend!"
Kid 2: "Oh, hi!"
Kid 1: "Hi. I'm sorry, I know that your favorite is Spider Man and Batman, but I couldn't find you that, so I got you this."

He then presented Kid 2 with a brand new Toy Story book. He then ran back to his parents who were waiting at the end of the aisle and they left to go finish off their day, while Kid#2 lay down in the middle of the aisle to read his new book.

Did Kid 2 need the new book? I'm sure his mom could have bought it for him. But, you know what? Kid #1 said he was going to buy something for his new friend and did. The parents knew that they were practicing a random act of kindness, which is becoming a rarity in our world of rushing around and excesses, and they set an example that it is good to give to others, even if you don't really know them all that well.

Leave it to a couple of three year olds to remind the adults what Christmas is all about.


Alana Morales taught high school English for six years before becoming a writer. She is a co-host on the new online radio show Mom Writer's Talk Radio ( Her first book, Domestically Challenged, is due out in 2006. You may read more of her writing at her personal site

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