Updated: Dec 11, 2021
What Was Your First Gift? (T)
In December of 1965, I did my very first Christmas shopping. I was only four but was allowed to go to Lamston’s in New York City by myself because the dime store was in the same building as our apartment on 89th. Marching in all-important with the doorman’s eyes firmly planted on my back, I headed straight to the shower cap with the blue flowers because I had seen my mother eyeing it the last time we were there.
At checkout, I poured out twenty-two nickels of pocket money onto the counter. The cashier lady took her time to count up the coins out loud. It made me nervous that she was going so slowly and I nearly cried when she paused at the end of her count. My feet hurt from tippy-toeing and peeking over the mound that was my life savings so when her frown broke into a smile and she said yes, I stuffed the shower cap in my coat pocket and ran out of the store without a receipt.
In 16th century Mexico, there is a story about a girl who wanted to give a gift but was too poor to give Jesus what she thought would be a worthy gift. An angel appeared and told her that if a gift is given with love it transforms into something beautiful. And so when the girl brought back weeds from the fields, they transformed into the red star plants we associate with Christmas – poinsettias. The Mexican poinsettia story ends here but the four-year old in me knows the proper ending, about how happy the girl must have been to be able to give a gift the way I was when I gave my mom her discounted blue-flower shower cap.
Happy #PoinsettiaDay this December 12th and enjoy your shopping! What was the first gift you gave someone?
Chirigami 1: My aunt's chirigami poinsettia made with torn rice paper
Chirigami 2: My aunt's chirigami poinsettia made with torn rice paper