Last year, I picked an ornament that said "gift card." You can never go wrong with a gift card, I'd thought. I went to the store, picked up the card, and that was that.
This year, I was feeling a little more...ambitious. (Let me pause here to say that I do not have any children, and my nieces & nephews are still toddlers. So, my knowledge of the latest, hottest toys is pretty much at zero.) I rifled through a handful of ornaments at our JLBR General Membership Meeting last month until I saw one from a six-year-old girl who wanted a Disney Princess 5-in-1 Princess Playset. Now that sounds like fun! I enthusiastically grabbed it.
|The ornaments. Information about the child & their gift wish is at the bottom.|
A few minutes later I was met with the first, "Sorry, ma'am, we don't have it." Odd. If it's not at the toy store, where can I find it?!
As luck would have it, I was in walking distance of another major retail store. I wasn't able to find anyone who worked there to assist me, but I walked up and down and up and down the toy aisles looking for a Disney Princess 5-in-1 Princess Playset. Nada.
The following week I tried another store with no luck. By this point, I realized it was time to go online. The first result from a Google search for "Diswney Princess 5-in-1 Princess Playset" was... disneystore.com. Of course! And---and---they had one!....wait....what does that say on the side? "Sold out."
That's okay....maybe they'll have one at an actual physical location. I called the Disney Stores in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Boynton Beach. 0 for 3. Although, I did get some helpful advice from one of the stores. "You should try online!" the cheerful lady suggested. I sighed (inwardly. She was so nice, I couldn't bring myself to unload my massive search saga on her.)
I was losing my mind. I was also kind of losing my holiday spirit. (And I mean more than "kind of.") I had to take a step back. Because, I was also losing the lesson. I was losing the true reason for the season, the true Spirit of Giving. I wanted so badly for this little girl to get exactly what she wanted, that I failed to see the real gift. The real gift will be when this little six-year-old girl *gets* a gift. A specific gift. Her very own. One that her family may not be able to afford to give her. The real gift is that I got the opportunity to take a little time and look outside of myself, and remember that there is more to this season -- more to life -- than getting stressed and getting everything exactly right. There's more to life than me. There's a six-year-old girl who, though circumstances, I am now connected to, in a way.
And she has a wish.
In the end, my little girl got this:
|5 pieces + 1 gift = 5-in-1! Yes??|
Not exactly the 5-in-1 she asked for, but I hope it makes her happy nonetheless.
And next year? I think I'm going back to gift cards.