Tags: The | Lesson | 'Enough' | Christmas

The Lesson of 'Enough' at Christmas

Thursday, 22 December 2005 12:00 AM

Maybe the hardest lesson at this time of year is the lesson of "enough." Life never seems so empty as it does when it's supposed to be full. The holes just gape. Some other year looms as having been better.

You know what I mean: Everyone else seems to come from the perfect family, be on their way to a well-planned holiday, sorting through invitations to old friends' parties, dressed in the right outfits, two sizes smaller, at least.

And there you are: none of those things. That is not your family, maybe it never was. It was never mine.

After all that, who wouldn't want one more designer handbag, status watch, Xbox 360? When what you really want you can't have and can't get, you can't help but want something else you can't get but might ...

Life is full of disappointments for most of us, truth be told, and never is this more true than at the holidays, when they are hardest to avoid. Turning "enough" into a celebration isn't easy work.

My son and I started looking for an Xbox 360 shortly after we realized how difficult a task it would be. We bookmarked all the sites that had them. Or didn't, as the case was. We found the sharks who were overcharging for them. I fell for one of those schemes where you pay $9.99 for an instant source – and then demanded a refund. We laughed our heads off. We tracked down the warehouse in Tampa that was the "location" for another schemer who claimed to be selling them at a discount. A fool is born every minute. We called someone in Los Angeles charging $1,200 a unit and asked about a pick-up.

I was not a privileged child, and for me, enough is a lesson I learn with my children. It is not easy. My instinct is to give my children too much. I feel their hurts. Actually, I feel my own – and I kid myself that indulging them will finally heal them.

ould anything be further from the truth? Being a mother gives me the chance to raise myself, as well as them. Or the responsibility. This time of year, it is mostly the latter.

The influences around us do not make it easier. I try to create good news, but can't. I look for something to look forward to, with little success.

So I cruise these Xbox tracker Web sites in the middle of the night, thinking that I will surprise my son by finding the Xbox 360 one of these nights at Kmart or Wal-Mart ...

And one night, I actually do. There it is. I can't believe it. In stock. For 90 seconds. I just need to pick two games to go with it. I wake up my son.

I race to his room.

I don't need it, Mom, he says. It's still too much.

Of course, he is right. He doesn't. It is.

I have enough, he says.

He does. So do I. Besides, the looking for it was the fun ...

Figuring out that we have enough – that we had enough – before it is too late, is what life is about. The looking for it is called living, the fun.

Merry Christmas.

Happy Hanukkah.

Happy holidays.

COPYRIGHT 2005 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

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Maybe the hardest lesson at this time of year is the lesson of "enough." Life never seems so empty as it does when it's supposed to be full. The holes just gape. Some other year looms as having been better. You know what I mean: Everyone else seems to come from the...
The,Lesson,'Enough',Christmas
557
2005-00-22
Thursday, 22 December 2005 12:00 AM
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