Lately I’ve been thinking about some of the Christmas presents I’ve received over the years.  There’s been quite a variety …

When I was in elementary school, I opened a Michael Jackson microphone on Christmas morning.  Let me just tell you that most kids would have thought it was the best present ever.  Me?  I threw it across the living room. 

And I can’t believe I just admitted that to the whole worldwide web. 

Yes, my grandparents were present during this debacle. 

Whoever doesn’t believe in original sin is in total denial.

Here’s the thing.  In much the same way as when I won the drawing for a train set at Safety Camp, I thought this gift somehow meant that others thought I behaved like a boy or liked toys that boys liked.  Which I most definitely did not.  I was all about some baby dolls, Barbies, Heart Family, CareBears, and My Little Ponies.  Trains were for boys.  And apparently so was a black cordless mic with a Michael Jackson sticker on it.  Do not ask how I twisted that around in my head as a young child.  I fully admit that it doesn’t make sense.  But I’m just trying to put forward the only defense I’ve got for my utterly awful behavior. 

Of course, over the years I also received all manner of dresses that hung in my closet with the tag on them until I grew out of them, which of course would cause my mother to get upset with me.  I’ve since learned that it’s best to acknowledge when I don’t like a clothing gift and don’t intend to wear it because, as my mother so often told me, “we don’t buy clothes to just to have a relationship with them.”

Then there was the Christmas of my sophomore year in high school.  I had gotten my driver’s license just a few months earlier.  My parents and I had been discussing the possibility of getting a car.  My dad and I had been to CarMax and had even taken some test-drives in a few cars.  I thought I would probably get a car at some point that year, but I knew it would be used and I knew it would be after Christmas. 

Plus, there were all sorts of presents wrapped and placed under the tree with my name on them. 

Clearly, I would not be receiving a car for Christmas that year, unless I was supposed to assemble it myself from all of the parts that I would spend Christmas morning unwrapping. 

But the next morning, my mother handed me a package.  I unwrapped it and found a poem inside.  It guided me to another very small package hidden in the branches of our Christmas tree that held a set of keys.  My parents made me close my eyes, and we walked out our front door and over to our next door neighbors’ driveway.  They were away for Christmas that year.  My father had the camera.  My mother had the video camera.  (Can you say only child?)  They guided me up to the neighbors’ carport and then told me to open my eyes. 

There before me was a brand new Honda Accord.  Bright white with a huge red bow on the hood. 

I was so excited that I drove it all the way home.

Yeah, all 300 yards.  I know, I really know how to celebrate, huh?

But what about all of the packages with my name on them under the tree?

Well, they compiled quite the emergency kit to hold in my trunk.  Complete with Fix-a-flat and a flashlight so big it could light up Texas.  Every girl’s dream – accessories.

I think it was the next year that I asked for a new toilet seat cover in my bathroom.  Mine had gotten a little cattywompus, and so I thought I should put it on my Christmas wish list. 

Yes, I am a smart aleck. 

And the way my parents handled me was by actually giving me a toilet seat for Christmas, wrapped in an awfully outrageous bow.  I would post the picture on here, but my high school just-got-out-of-bed-and-still-have-my-glasses-on look is not necessarily for worldwide web consumption.

This year I get to unwrap my present early.  Well, it’s not really unwrappable actually. 

But this morning my husband and I are hopping on a train to head down to New York City for the weekend. 

Since last year, we’ve been planning to take this little adventure.  And no New England forecast of six to ten inches of snow today is going to stop us. 

I’ve always wanted to see the city at Christmastime, and so this trip is our present to each other this year. 

He’s hit the halfway mark now with seminary, and so we’re going to celebrate and take a deep breath before racing to the finish.

So, you guys have a great weekend.  We’ll be taking in some shows, decorated store windows, and the tree at Rockefeller Center.

Because “it’s Christmastime in the city … “