Every gift which is given, even though it be small, if in reality great, if it is given with affection. ~Pinda
Last Wednesday was Santa’s Workshop in school, and as tradition dictates I work a half day when Kyle is scheduled to shop. I do truly love helping the kids and seeing them all excited over purchasing gifts for their family members. Kyle sees it as a way of guaranteeing him additional gifts to give away. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, because I know his intentions are the most sincere, he thinks of everyone in the family. Of course he does include himself in that mix. What a stinker!
When I first started working Santa’s Workshop, Kyle was in the first grade. Even though I never missed a Christmas Season, Kyle would look surprised to see me working every year. Although for this shopping event, Kyle told me the night before. He said it with enthusiasm and almost as if he expected me to be there. Well, I was way ahead of him making sure I took the morning off. Kyle said, “O wait Aunt Heather, tomorrow is our Santa’s Workshop.” Playing coy, I responded, “O ya?” He continued, “Ya but I’m not sure what time. They just told us.” I started to chuckle. If he thinks no one told the kids in advance about the shopping day ran by the PTA, he couldn’t be more wrong. Calling him out on this, I said, “Kyle I doubt if the school never mentioned it to anyone before hand. I bet you got a letter sent home and you didn’t know it.” He really didn’t deny it, but I could tell he seriously was just reminded of the next days schedule. Just to play with Kyle a little I said, “Well, honey that’s kind of last minute, what if I had meetings setup for tomorrow? You’re telling me about this the night before.” He kind of shrugged his shoulders as if to be blasé about my comment, like he didn’t care, but I could tell he wanted me to go. As to not upset him, I broke character and said, “Yes I was planning on going. Do you think I would rely on you telling me when it is, in advance?” Kyle just smiled from ear-to-ear. He asked me, “How did you know?” I told him I reached out to a PTA mom and made sure she put me on the list when he was scheduled to shop.
As the kids filed in by class, I always look for familiar faces. That gives me an indication if they are part of Kyle’s class or not. This year, I was posted at the gift wrapping table, unlike my previous duties of helping the kids pick out gifts and manage their moola. I guess that’s a promotion! While I was sitting there ready for the next group of young shoppers to grace us with their presence, Kyle rounded the corner with a huge grin on his face. After he completed his first round of shopping, Kyle came and got me to get the rest of his gifts, Gigi, pappy and Aunt Nikki. Of course Kyle always thinks of Seven and Scooby grabbing them a Christmas gift too. I’m thinking he forgot about Storm, not that she would care, nor do I care. What came next really made my heart fill with warmth and love.
As we went through our short Christmas list, making sure we didn’t forget anyone, Kyle turned to me and was very hesitant. At first, I thought he was going to ask me if he could buy himself something, as he has done in the past. But this time he took me completely off guard. Kyle said, “Well Aunt Heather, do you have five extra dollars?” Not reading him correctly, I said, “Yes what do you want?” He said, “Well, could you leave the room so I could pick something out for you?” My little man! I couldn’t help but shine with happiness, not over the gift but over the thought of considering me as part of his beloved shopping list. I’ve been helping him with Santa’s Workshop for years and he never once thought to buy me a gift. I was ever mad or even upset over it and I certainly never commented, I was just happy to help everyone else with their gifts. Another part of me helping, was to help show Kyle how to give. His expression was so sincere and genuine, I just wanted to hug my little man and kiss his big round head! It was his love for me that really made my day! Heck, it made my lifetime!
Before Kyle was in school, my sister would take him to get small gifts for everyone. That particular year, I remember he picked out this wire Christmas tree with blue ornaments. It was not the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen, but it was from Kyle. I still remember when he gave it to me for Christmas. The enthusiasm he exuded, all for me to have this sparkly Christmas tree decoration was amazing and contagious. The best part was when he demonstrated his thoughts by singing, “Look Aiya, Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way.”, as he shook my gift up and down allowing it to make ringing sounds. He also said, “Ya Aiya, It’s shinny and I know you like shinny things!” I don’t know how the young child associated me with shinny things, because I am not a glitter wearing flashy dresser, but something made him think of me in that light. At that moment, I was placed me in the mind of Kyle and I saw the world through his eyes, at least with respect to the this gift. Even to this day, Kyle loves singing Jingle Bells with me. That was his favorite song and every time we were in the car, I would blast the Jingle Bells tunes and we would bust out in song. He told me, “Aiya, now we can sing!” Love him!
Do you know that each and every Christmas I still pull out the cheesy Christmas tree with blue ornaments? Yep, I always display it somewhere in plain sight for all to see. While going through my Christmas decorations, I actually tend to look for it. Once I retrieve the sparkly aluminum made artwork, I shake it and always remember that Christmas Kyle was excited to give it to me. It makes me laugh, especially remembering Nicole calling me after the purchase was made and giggling to herself saying, “Wait till you see what Kyle picked for you!”
Both gestures are locked away in my memory and remain in heart, They are by far the BEST Christmas presents EVER!