My sons once said that their favorite Christmas when they were growing up was the Christmas of the Kittens. That had been a terrible year. We lost our business in a fire and my husband was injured. We were on food stamps for a while. The boys were middle school age. All their friends were going to get the latest electronic gizmo everyone was talking about, but that was out of the question for our family. We saw an ad for free kittens to a good home so we got two, 12 week old litter mates a few days before Christmas. A friend kept them at her house for us. We offered no explanation at all as to why one boy found a poop scoop in his Christmas stocking and the other found a bag of kitty treats. My husband made up an excuse to leave the house Christmas morning and came back with the two kittens. Then the fun began. Of all the Christmases before or since, that is the one that stays in the memory.
At this time of year mothers have some leverage in getting their kids to clean out their toy box and give up some of the older toys in expectation of a new haul on Christmas day. Alas, as we grow up and grow old we seldom weed out the accumulations of stuff we acquire from year to year. What’s the matter with us?!