The Christmas when I was 6 or 7, Pound Puppies were the toy of the season. They came in a little box shaped like a kennel, and they were just so adorable. I wanted one. And in my little brain, I understood that wanting something was not enough, I needed action! So, I wished for one. I developed a wishing ritual wherein I would stand up on my piano bench, and reach high up to the shelf hanging on the wall above the piano, it was tricky because sometimes the bench would slide out from under me when I was extended that far. On the shelf was a tiny ceramic swan. I assumed it was magical. So I would get the swan, stroke it’s sleek back and whisper my wishes into it.
“I want a pound puppy. I want a pound puppy. I want a pound puppy.” I knew there was something equally magical about repetition.
In those early years in my family, we would pack up everything Christmas-y and drive four hours south to my Grandparent’s house in Cedar City. Then we would join with our dozens of cousins for utter mayhem for days and days. All of my mom’s siblings got married within months of each other, and everyone was having babies on a strict schedule of one new grandchild every quarter. There was no shortage of cousin friends.
As we unpacked our sack of wrapped presents under my grandparent’s tree, I found mine. My Pound PUPPY! It was a uniquely shaped box, shaped kind of like an L, which was an assurance that my magical swan had done its work. Just to be sure though, I would pick up the present every night before Christmas and wish into it “Please be a pound puppy. Please be a pound puppy. Please be a pound puppy.”
Christmas morning came, and we rushed from our basement room to the foot of the stairs where my dad was standing, blocking the way up the stairs. We asked him if Santa had come in the night, he said he’d check. He walked up the stairs, and then came back with the bad news. “Nope, Santa hasn’t come.”
No one believed him; my dad couldn’t be trusted. He liked to trick us. And he sat on the cousins that got too out of control, “Do you want Uncle Bus to sit on you!?!” It was the ultimate threat.
We all charged the living room and found our presents and held on to them. When it was my turn to open my present, I couldn’t wait. I KNEW what it would look like, I knew it would be the brown puppy with the adorable eye spot. I turned it over and ripped into it.
It was a bank.
It was the kind of bank that would take your money in, but only let you have it back out when you had reached $10. It kept track for you.
It was the worst.
Hope you have a Magical, Merry Christmas!! (I hope you and yours get everything you wished for)
*in my parent’s defense, they did get me guitar one year, which continues to be the Best Christmas Present of My Life Thus Far.