Dear Angel Tree Jacob,
I’m sorry. I’m sorry I got you underpants. Your mom said you needed them. I snuck some toy cars in there too, if that’s any consolation. It’s probably not enough to make up for the underpants.When I was a kid, my Nano got me underpants every year for Christmas. I hated that.
Times aren’t really that good right now. Seems like everyone is worried about money these days. I’m sorry you had to come into a world like that. Sadly, that’s how it goes sometimes.
I had a bad attitude when I went to the store to get your gifts. I went late, as usual with me. I hadn’t even bothered to look at your form. Your mom wrote practical things on it. It looks like she needs some help right now. Then she added, “Any toy would be nice.” That sentence broke my heart. That sentence shook me out of the foul mood where I spend most of December.
I was tired when I got home. But Baby Daddy reminded me you’re three years old. Half the fun of Christmas when you’re three is ripping paper. So I wrapped up your socks, sensible clothes and the afore-mentioned underpants in paper and put pretty ribbon on the packages. He was right. Those gifts will look lovely under the tree, even if they’re not all toys.
I think you may have a good mom. She’s asking for the things in this life you really need. She’s also looking out for you, kid. She’s thinking how nice Christmas morning would be if you had some fun stuff too.
I’ve thought a lot about your mom. I probably won’t be able to stop thinking about her for a while. I think about the pride she had to swallow to go register for the Angel Tree. I think about how humbling it must be to ask strangers for your children’s basic needs. I think about how scared she must be. all.the.time. I hope for her. I hope things get better for her financially. I hope life gets a little easier for her. I hope, somewhere in this season, she finds a bit of joy and peace. I bet if you gave her a big hug and kiss, it would help.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas. I hope next year you’re not on the Angel Tree. But if you are, don’t worry, I’ll buy you some more underpants… and some cars too.