My birthday falls exactly two weeks before Christmas Eve, and school usually finished about the same time, so what more could a little fat kid want!? The downside is it’s close enough to Christmas to get only one present at worst or at best one of two presents.
Generally, though, I did okay. My fondest memory of this time of year was heading to the Wimmers factory in Nambour, getting crates of soft drink, loading up the truck and heading to my nanna’s house at Picnic Point, looking not unlike the Beverly Hillbillies. Swimming in the river, going to the beach, barbecues, fishing and getting sunburnt were all formalities, and the Salvos singing on street corners were a true indication Christmas and the New Year were in full swing.
These days we seem a little bit more focused on big presents and material possessions rather than just having a ripping holiday. If I think back now it’s the experiences I can still remember, not the presents – apart from my purple dragster bike in the mid 1960s complete with streamers and a front basket. I will never ever forget that day as I had dropped a thousand hints about getting one and I reckon Dad would have bought it even if we couldn’t afford it just to shut me up.
It is really obvious to me these days that family, friends and just doing stuff are far more important than big shiny presents that we probably can’t afford anyway, or if we can it would probably be better to give stuff to people that really need it.
Old mate and I don’t really exchange gifts anymore and mutually agree to get stuff when we need it, like me with a motor bike or her with a hysterectomy for a bird (I’m serious).
But this year she surprised me with the best gift she has ever given me – a corkboard. When she gave it to me she said ‘you probably won’t know what it’s for’.
Correct, I didn’t, until she explained it was for me to pin up drawings, cards and photos that the grandkids give me, which is exactly what I’m talking about. Hopefully that corkboard will inspire me to be around as long as I can to see them grow up – the perfect gift.
Have a happy holiday season with your family. Love you all.