I received "on the job training" as a Santa's helper at an early age. Mom was my instructor.
Growing up during the 1950s had its own challenges. I didn't know it then, but we really didn't have much money. Most of our family and friends didn't either.
What you don't see or have you don't miss. Later on, mom and dad found better jobs. My mom was one to share in our good fortune. Months before Christmas, she shopped carefully for small personal gifts for each member of our family and their families, sort of a Brady Bunch times five situation.
Dad had five brothers and one sister who in turn had 19 children between them. Mom had two sisters with six children all together. With over 50 gifts to wrap, tape, and decorate, our home became Santa Central at Christmas.
I remember sitting with her and my brother in the living room on the floor. We were surrounded with heaps of gifts, colorful wrapping paper, and bright ribbons and bows. We always finished by Christmas Eve.
The fun part was delivering everything on Christmas day. Visiting with all our family for the gift giving made the celebration that much more meaningful. Gift-giving, no matter how small, lifts the spirit.
"Tis the season to be jolly!"
I believe the jolly should be an intrinsic part of us throughout the year. Have a jolly, holly Christmas.