I don’t know whether my youngest daughter had the most traumatic childhood ever or whether she’s just the best at guilting me over it. For years, she has been giving me grief for not buying a Baby’s First Ornament for her the year she was born. Her oldest sister has a lovely Hallmark ornament from her birth year. The second sister has a photo ornament from her first year. (Older sister also has a photo ornament from that year, since I went ahead and bought one for each child at the time.) But the poor youngest child, the one of whom I took pictures but never got them developed, that child never got a Baby’s First Ornament. And she’s never let me forget it.
It’s not that she isn’t represented on the Christmas tree. There are a myriad of little ornaments from Sunday school classes and dance classes. Oops. She didn’t get the dance class ornaments because she didn’t take those dance classes. She was a tippy-toe walker and the pediatrician said that ballet and tap would be bad for her hamstrings. Well, at any rate, there is a cardboard egg-crate bell that she made in nursery school. It is, quite frankly, not too pretty and I tried to hide it in the back of the tree once, but she noticed. It is now displayed right in front where she can easily find it and I won’t get yelled at.
The reason I didn’t get her a first year ornament was because I was busy hand stitching her a Christmas stocking. Her sisters at the time had dollar store basic red fuzzy stockings, but I wanted them to have special handmade stockings like I had growing up. I started with hers–a lovely stocking with Santa’s face on it and white satin stripes on a red background. Given my ineptitude at sewing, it’s a wonder I accomplished the task. I admit that I did get neater and more intricate on the subsequent stockings for her older sisters, but hers was the first and I did finish it by Christmas. And she liked it.
That is, until it got lost.
When she was about seven. When she was still big into Santa.
I’m reasonably sure that the stocking was mislaid among the empty Christmas boxes and discarded. Problem is, the loss was not noticed until December 24 of the following year when I pulled out the stockings to hang by the chimney with care.
Zut, zut, et zut!
In a Christmas Eve panic, I pulled out one of the leftover fuzzy dollar store stockings and glued a felt snowman, some snowflakes and the child’s name on it. Next to her sister’s carefully crafted stockings it looked, well, pretty crappy. But, hey, there was at least something for Santa to fill.
Every year after, I forgot until December 24 that she had a crappy stocking. Finally, when she was in maybe high school, I bought what I thought was a cute reindeer stocking at Greetings & Readings. But when I got it home, I realized it didn’t hang in the same direction as the other stockings. So, while it was better than the crappy red fuzz, it was not really acceptable. Or accepted. But we hung it up anyway until she got married and was free to start fresh and have perfect Christmases forever.
This year, I was checking Facebook and what to my wondering eyes did appear but an apology from this self-same daughter. With a two year old and a baby, she now understands. She forgot to order a monogrammed stocking for the baby. I’m wondering how many years it will take her to remember to order a monogrammed stocking.
In the meantime, not to worry. MomMom here has some spares.
One thought on “Christmas Trauma”
so as you’re posting this…Matthew posts this on FB: http://www.theguardian.com/news/oliver-burkeman-s-blog/2013/dec/20/psychology-christmas-holiday-family-regression