Every year we are faced with the same dilemma. The children’s need to buy a cheap, or rather, inexpensive -yet a nice gift for their “secret” Santa. One year the boy informed me about the gift the day before it was due, thus forcing us to run to the dollar store, where their selection of cheap gifts were virtually wiped out. His poor present included a multitask flashlight and candy bar. A flashlight I might add, which broke apart shortly after it was removed from its packaging. The boy on the other hand received a nice giant candy bar, (which made me slap my head and announce to myself, why didn’t I think of that?”) much to his like and my dismay.
This year the doll came home and announced two weeks before the Secret Santa presents were due and the amount she was to spend. “Mom, Ms. Stevens said we can only spend $3.00 nothing more.” “Can you spend less than that?” I asked for clarification. She wrinkled her nose then added “Jeeze Mom, is there anything that costs less than $3.00?” Apparently not. “Oh and the boy is going to need one too, though I doubt he’ll tell you.” The doll added, correctly predicting her brother’s inaction.
Yesterday when the doll walked in from school, I asked her how her day was. She had a sour look upon her face, which could only mean one thing….Secret Santa sucked. “Mom, guess what?” “What?” “Well today was Secret Santa right?” “Yes…” “And we spent $3.00 on those candy books…” “Well technically I spent $2.99; but go on…” “Mom, stop interrupting me. Well so anyway, we are in the room, eating pizza and Ms. Steven’s announces it’s time to exchange gifts. So I gave mine to Faith and…” “What did you get?” “A bag of Dorito’s from the kid’s lunch”. I began to laugh. I couldn’t help myself. “MOM!” “I’m sorry doll, maybe he forgot”. “No! They’ve been making announcements about it everyday for the past two weeks, ‘Don’t forget Wednesday is Secret Santa Day’; he should have known.” “Who was your Secret Santa?” “Jagger”. Upon hearing the boy’s name came the recognition that his family does not have a lot of money. $3.00 could mean a lot to their family. “Oh doll, his family doesn’t have much money” I replied. “I know. I mean I kinda get that, but at the same time….”
About then her brother walked into the house carrying a large smile across his face “Hello mama! My exams are finished!” “Cool, how do you think you did?” “I think I did very well and what’s more, check out what I got from my Secret Santa!” He held up 2 thirds of an uneaten giant Hershey Chocolate bar”. The doll lowered her head and sulked. “Doll, tell your brother what you got?” I said laughing. Shooting me a dirty look she somberly said, “A bag of Doritos from his lunch box”. The boy smirked but added, “Were they Nacho Cheese?” “No! And I don’t even like Doritos” she added. “Wait, you didn’t eat them?” I asked, thinking I could give her a few dollars for the bag of chips–at least helping her out of her doldrums. “No I ate them…it’s just the total disrespect of the whole event. I mean it wasn’t supposed to come from his lunch box. It was supposed to be wrapped”.
“So…are you more upset about the Doritos or the fact that his gift seemed more of an after thought?” I asked. “Well, both I suppose. You know mom, you could make me feel better by buying me a chocolate milk shake while we’re out shopping later…” She suggested. I smiled and thoughtfully replied, “Nah, I like watching you be upset more”. She didn’t appreciate my answer and playfully slapped me in the arm which brought about more laughter from me and then more slaps from her.
On a side note, her brother, with whom she fights constantly; showed considerable kindness to his sister by splitting what was left of his chocolate bar with her…though she might argue he was only bribing her. Regardless, she got Doritos and some of the boy’s yummy chocolate which is way more than most.