The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Christmas Presents


Christmas shopping is going to be easy this year. My husband and I haven’t exchanged presents for several years now, although I always tried to get him something small and with meaning. One year I bought him a couple of pairs of expensive SAXX underwear that his cousin from Alaska declared were the best. Last year I presented him with a “Betty Boop” rubber duckie from a thrift store. Naturally, he never used it, since he always showers. That rubber duckie was a companion to a photo I had taken of him in June standing beside a life-size Betty Boop luring people into an antique store in Carlisle. Anyway, this year I told my kids presents are just for grandchildren. They understood since they have had presents all year.

I wonder what to get my grandchildren who already have so much. Cary wants dance lessons for Caleb because he always moves to the music. Maybe all young children do that, but I was inspired by Billy Elliott and watch Dirty Dancing every time it is on. There are lots of inspiring dance/musicals that propel me to get up and move it. I always wanted to learn to dance, and maybe now is as good a time as any for Caleb and me. There actually are dance lessons for 2-year-olds, and they are nearby. So that present is taken care of. For my other grandchild, I am thinking intensely about what I might get him. Money seems so impersonal and without thought, yet it can actually be a thoughtful present. That may have been one of my most favorite Christmas presents. Every year my brother and I got a crispy $5 bill from one grandmother and two crispy $1 bills from the other grandmother. I remember the bills but not what we bought with them.

Christmas is not about presents, but about family and the spirit of the holiday; and we will have that this year.


Billy Elliott. Dir. Daldry, Stephen. Universal Focus. 2000. Film

Dirty Dancing. Dir. Ardolino, Emile. Vestron Pictures. 1987. Film

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