I think differently at Christmas. I forget what I have learned. I forget that I am not responsible for other people’s happiness. I want to make dreams come true. I am proud to say that I have toned down my shopping remarkably in recent years. But, memories of Christmas in the past remind me of the extreme lengths to which I would go to make someone’s holiday the best ever.
In 1974, Colleen was 3. When asked what she wanted from Santa she announced, “I want a black doll.” Surprised, but pleased, I patted myself on the back. I was raising an open and accepting child. It wasn’t easy to find a black doll in the early 1970s. I guess no matter what color skin you had, if you were a little girl at that time, you played with a doll with white skin. After some searching, I was able to locate a very adorable black baby doll. Along with it Colleen got a cradle, high chair, bottles and a complete layette. I couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to see her face when she opened her gifts. She didn’t disappoint me and was thrilled with her new baby and all the accessories that came with it. Later that night as I watched her cradling her doll, I said, “So, did Santa bring you what you wanted?”
“Yes,” she smiled, pretending to feed the baby with the bottle of disappearing milk.
“A black baby,” I said beaming.
“Yes,” she answered. “Black hair.”
My children never cease to humble me in many ways. I assured myself that I still had reason to be proud of my parenting as when she opened the baby with the black skin (and black hair), she didn’t hesitate to love it.
Jimmy requested a Noah’s ark. Again this was a gift you could find easily today but not when I needed it. I searched tirelessly with no success and had to settle on a book about Noah’s ark. Jimmy never complained as he also got the Batman alarm clock that he asked for in his letter to Santa.