Story: Gift-Giving Anxiety

“I can sort of see the classroom. It must have been grade 4, and the teacher asked each one of us to stand up and say what it was we had got for Christmas that we really liked the best. And I had not got very much for Christmas … maybe a couple of things … very small things. And I was really dreading it because I thought they would all stand up and say something really magnificent. I don’t know why I thought this way. I guess when you are poor you expect the worst.

“I would have been nine. That would have been ’35, I guess. My dad was working for a grocery store for $12 a week.

“I wasn’t the first (thank goodness) to stand up. Some of the better-healed kids in the class said, well .. one of them said she got a book she liked the best, and another got up and said, “I got beads that I really liked the best.” And I sighed and thought, “Oh, I can come up with a book or some beads … so I am alright.” But do you think I can remember what it was that I got?”

What was the thing you received this Christmas that you liked the best?

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