The Christmas Potato
Many years ago when my son Jason was around 5 years old (he’s 25 now), I thought it would be fun to put a single potato under the Christmas tree next to his gifts. The first time I did it, he pretty much ignored it, but that didn’t deter me. The following year I did it again and the year after that. I’m not sure when, but maybe when he was 7 he finally took notice and expressed his displeasure that Santa would leave a single potato for him. My response was to hit him with logic.
“You love french fries, don’t you?” I’d ask.
“Yea…” he’d say.
“So Santa wants to give you something that you enjoy eating along with the toys!”
He didn’t like that explanation.
After another couple of years, I decided to upgrade the single potato to a bag. That’s when Jason would really express his annoyance.
“Not again!” he moan and groan.
He’d immediately grab the bag of potatoes and hand it to me.
“I don’t want them!”
When my daughter eventually joined our Christmas celebration (she’ll be 20 next month), she didn’t show the same annoyance that Jason did. She simply accepted the bag of potatoes as part of the Christmas day.
Then a funny thing happened. A few years ago with Jason and Ashley being older I thought it time to retire the bag of potatoes. I thought that small part of the day had run it’s course so I didn’t put the bag under the tree. When Christmas morning arrived and we all got up to open our gifts, the first thing my daughter asked me (I think she was 17 at the time) was “Dad, where are the potatoes?”
I explained why they weren’t there, that I thought it was time to move on.
“No Dad, it’s not Christmas without the bag of potatoes,” was her answer.
(For the record, Jason was in a neutral corner concerning the affair.)
Well, the following year the bag of potatoes returned along with the smile on Ashley’s face.
Most families have traditions with respect to their Christmas day. Whether it’s how they prepare the meal or watching something special on television or spending the day with certain members of their family. In my house, it the bag of potatoes.
It’s the small stuff that makes the day special.