A Child’s Christmas WishJayesh Radadiya
His eyes large, his blonde hair shimmering under the photographer’s bright lamp, he smiled shyly at Santa. At two and a half years old, he looked tiny on the white-bearded man’s lap.
“What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?” the large man asked.
“Rocks and sticks,” he whispered.
“Uh, rocks and sticks?” Santa rubbed his gloved hand thoughtfully over his cheek.
The small child nodded his head emphatically, “Yes, rocks and sticks.”
“Well, I’m sure that can be arranged,” Santa smiled as he handed him a candy cane and coloring book and lifted him down from his lap.
For the next few weeks the child talked of little else except the rocks and sticks he was going to get from Santa. His excitement knew no bounds. But did he really want them or was it only a passing fancy?
Right up until Christmas Eve, his parents weren’t sure how to handle this delicate situation. Finally by late that evening they had made their decision.
Early Christmas morning, they gave him the brightly wrapped box. As he tore off the colorful paper and opened the box, he beamed. “Rocks and sticks!”
As he inspected each specimen carefully, his parents encouraged him to open his other gifts. Reluctantly, he finally put his precious gift aside and opened a box holding a motorized train.
For the rest of the day he played with the rocks and sticks, occasionally playing with the train. “Why don’t you open your other gifts?” his parents asked often during the day.
“No,” he announced firmly as he happily continued to play with the precious gift Santa had said he would bring.
This story is true; the little boy is my grandson. As I think about his joy at receiving rocks and sticks, I realize that as adults we place too much importance on the dollar value of gifts. We do not need to buy a child expensive toys. Many of these toys have been hyped by television but in fact have very little play value once the novelty has worn off. The rocks and sticks were played with in more imaginary ways than many toys off a department store shelf could ever be. This was also an example to all of us that children don’t need to have a lot of gifts under the tree in order to be happy.
When I thought further about his boundless happiness with his box of rocks and sticks, I realized that children have a far better understanding of the meaning of Christmas than we do as adults. As we grow older, many estimate the value of a gift based on its cost.
This year as a family we decided to cut back on our Christmas spending. We didn’t cut back on our gift-giving but did make the decision to give smaller gifts because the thought itself is the most important.
It took a two and a half year old child to remind us that happiness comes from within; it is being pleased with the simple things in life. Many of us forget the importance of this.