Apparently, the number of pets being surrendered spikes after the holidays. This is generally thought to be because people gift pets the recipient doesn’t want or can’t afford to keep or isn’t the right fit. Even if it’s terribly sad and awful to imagine pets going to a shelter or being re-homed, I can see how this happens and why. (Not to shame anyone) I’m terrible at giving and receiving presents — though I don’t think I’d ever surprise anyone with a living thing.
I blame dad for the majority of my gift issues. He always said we were spoiled, which maybe we were. But we were good kids, polite kids, hard-working kids. And once a year Mom went all out on us, to give us a wildly memorable Christmas, and I think it was kind of fucked up dad made us feel bad about it. He thought we were spoiled not because of how many gifts we got, but the kinds of gifts we got. He thought gifts should always be something you need as opposed to something you want. And we didn’t need video games, or posters, or clothes, or a tabletop hockey game. We wanted them. Remember when Dad gave us suitcases the year we went to Atlanta for Christmas with mom? And ski’s when we got really into skiing in junior high and the rental costs started to add up? (He determined it would be a better investment to buy us skis as opposed to rent them) But most years we got nothing from him. (Which is fine) He only ever gave two gifts annually, as you may remember. We shopped for them every Christmas Eve after he picked us up from moms: two holiday cards from K-Mart with a lottery ticket inside for each of his siblings.
Dad was an experience guy. He took us skating on Christmas Eve. Swimming at the wave pool. Skiing in the winter when he could afford it. For endless walks along the river on Saturdays. Time with him was the gift. But mom made up for the deficit of actual gifts on Christmas every Christmas morning.
She and Bruce spoiled us rotten, just like dad said. When dad would drop us off twelve hours after he picked us up on Christmas Eve, the pile of gifts below our tree would have grown in our absence. Remember how on Christmas Eve we were allowed to open one gift before bed? It was always something useful like new pyjamas.
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