Once upon a time…
When I think about Christmas time, I usually remember when I was a child, my parents, my sister and I, every year, had a dinner in my grandparents home on Christmas Eve and New Year Eve. Once with my maternal family and the other one with my paternal family.
The house of my maternal grandparents was really tiny, maybe forty square meters. My grandfather worked as a mechanic and he didn’t earn much money. But my grandmother, as the best financial minister and the most famous chef would do, was able to buy and cook the most delicious dishes. So, that tiny place looked like the most luxurious restaurant in the world.
Very close to that place, at my paternal grandmother’s house, the music was the main star. They always sang our family carol that in Spanish says “en Belén una noche a las doce, en un frío y oscuro portal, nace un niño es el Rey de los cielos, pobrecito que frío tendrá”.
Since I got married, I spend the most special night of the year, Christmas eve, with my family in law. They are able to appreciate that I feel at home. I’m a son, brother, cousin, nephew and a grandson. But during the dinner, I can’t avoid feeling a little bit homesick and, when nobody is looking at me, I close my eyes and I can see my grandmother cooking the dinner, and my aunt (Carmen) singing our special song from heaven.
I remember when I was a child and I still believed in Santa Claus. Those great memories remind me of the best gift that I’ve ever received.
I usually spent a lot of time playing with a Scalextric that my mom gave my dad some years before they got married. The track was tiny and a little bit old, but for me it was enough for spend every week having a good time playing alone with a couple of cars. Perhaps, that was thanks to the extraordinary imagination of an introverted child.
My parents always have looked for the best things for their son and daughter and they have given to me the best education. But those days my father’s company wasn’t running very well, and my parents were worried because they didn’t have enough money to buy expensive toys. Then, my father thought that if he bought a Scalextric extension pack, he would build an attractive track for an imaginative child.
He bought the pieces of the track and a big wooden board. He asked a neighbour of ours, who worked as a carpenter, to cut the board. Our neighbour answered affirmatively. But finally, he forgot it.
My father, who was working the whole week in another city, had to travel after work to our city for the Christmas eve dinner in my grandparents house. After dinner, we went back home, then, when I went to sleep, he started to cut the board. It wasn’t easy, when he did it, he started to assemble the Scalextric. He spent the whole night working on the gift to his son. But finally he got it.
He was so exhausted and had severe back pain, but he was strong enough to see the smiling face of his son when I saw my wonderful Christmas gift. I was the happiest boy in the world. That gift was amazing, it looked like the most luxurious formula one circuit. And it was all possible thanks to my dad’s effort.
Several years later, I came to know how that story happened. And I learned a very important lesson, the best presents are not the most expensive. You just need to add love to build beautiful things.
Merry Christams and happy new year to everyone.