Consumers and Savorers

20 01 2005

You know how sometimes memories just pop into your head, and you wonder what on earth prompted that particular recollection to fly out of its dusty brain file and land on the screen of your mind? That happened to me today while I was jumping rope. I don’t know. Maybe my mind tries to compete with my heart rate, but it tends to run all over the place when I work out.

Today it jogged back to a specific aspect of our family Christmas when I was a kid. My parents made my two sisters, my brother, and me wait till they were ready (including Mom’s make up — there would be photographs, after all) before we could open our presents. By the time they finally unleashed us on the loot, I was foaming at the mouth to get into those packages.

Now here’s the part I thought about this morning. My brother, who was youngest of the four, almost always received some sort of major gift that required assembly and, once put together, moved. One year it might be a train set. Another year, an elaborate hot-wheels track. You get the idea. And each year he did the same thing. He went straight to that gift and began constructing it. While my sisters and I tore into our presents, ripping the paper off, gloating only momentarily over each proof that our begging and manipulating had been fruitful, he spent hours methodically building his gift.

It didn’t take long for the female offspring to exhaust our supply of Santa stash. We’d eye the packages still under the tree. “Daddy, are any of those for me?”

He’d read each tag. “No. These are all Jimmy’s.”

I didn’t understand Jimmy. He could ignore those presents all morning until he’d completed his project and played with it for a while. The rest of us would sit around, already bored with the gifts that, only hours earlier, we hadn’t thought we could live without. Then we’d have to watch him slowly work his way through the rest of his presents.

As a kid, Jimmy’s method got on my nerves. But now I admire him for it. The rest of us were consumers, devouring our parents’ generosity with selfish greed. Jimmy was a savorer. He took Christmas in, tasting each bite, appreciating each unique nuance of flavor.

We swallowed Christmas whole. He relished it.

Today, for me, Christmas became a metaphor for life. I don’t want to forfeit the joy contained in the package in my hands right now because I can’t wait to tear into the next one. I want to be like Jimmy, taking it all in, not missing a single delightful moment.

I don’t want to consume my life. I want to savor it. Every bite.


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12 responses

20 01 2005
allenb

What a great story! I think I’d fall more into the camp that you and your sisters did. I really LOVED rippin’ wrappin’. I would tear into each gift in a sort of mad dash to get things open, and see what I’d acquired.

I think maybe Mia, my youngest niece is a consumer … My sister had to get boxes that were designed to look like wrapping paper because she kept tearing into them… then again, maybe she just likes tearing paper. 😉

Thank you for sharing such wonderful insight!

A

20 01 2005
allenb

What a great story! I think I’d fall more into the camp that you and your sisters did. I really LOVED rippin’ wrappin’. I would tear into each gift in a sort of mad dash to get things open, and see what I’d acquired.

I think maybe Mia, my youngest niece is a consumer … My sister had to get boxes that were designed to look like wrapping paper because she kept tearing into them… then again, maybe she just likes tearing paper. 😉

Thank you for sharing such wonderful insight!

A

21 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Allen. I’m glad you liked the story. :o)

Speaking of rippin’ wrappin’, how was your birthday?

♥ EZ

21 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Allen. I’m glad you liked the story. :o)

Speaking of rippin’ wrappin’, how was your birthday?

♥ EZ

21 01 2005
Anonymous

all too true

I’ve always been more of a quick consumer as well. But I’m learning patience. So….when you get all this figured out – the savoring, that is – writie it down and teach me. Then format it for 7 year old girls and teach my daughter. She is the crowning queen of I’ve-just-got-to-get-another-My-Little-Pony-to-go-with-the-dozens-of-others!!!

By the way, if you’re familiar with said Ponies, who is this guy that has to come up with all those names? Stuff like, Sparkle Berry Twinkle Butt. (My daughter has each one memorized and recall them at will.)

21 01 2005
Anonymous

all too true

I’ve always been more of a quick consumer as well. But I’m learning patience. So….when you get all this figured out – the savoring, that is – writie it down and teach me. Then format it for 7 year old girls and teach my daughter. She is the crowning queen of I’ve-just-got-to-get-another-My-Little-Pony-to-go-with-the-dozens-of-others!!!

By the way, if you’re familiar with said Ponies, who is this guy that has to come up with all those names? Stuff like, Sparkle Berry Twinkle Butt. (My daughter has each one memorized and recall them at will.)

21 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: all too true

Okay, this cracked me up. Who are you, O anonymous one, that I might bestow upon you the points you just earned for having provoked said laughter.

I don’t know who comes up with the names, but it sounds like a fun job for someone who enjoys torturing parents. Sparkle Berry Twinkle Butt. Oh, man. That’s too great. Thanks for the chuckle.

21 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: all too true

Okay, this cracked me up. Who are you, O anonymous one, that I might bestow upon you the points you just earned for having provoked said laughter.

I don’t know who comes up with the names, but it sounds like a fun job for someone who enjoys torturing parents. Sparkle Berry Twinkle Butt. Oh, man. That’s too great. Thanks for the chuckle.

21 01 2005
Anonymous

Re: all too true

Oops…meant to put my name since my LiveJournal password wouldn’t let me in.

Your MA pal,

michael snyder

21 01 2005
Anonymous

Re: all too true

Oops…meant to put my name since my LiveJournal password wouldn’t let me in.

Your MA pal,

michael snyder

21 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: all too true

I guessed right. :o) Add 100 points to your score.

You’re so funny. You should comment here more. It means points for you and a full laughter tank for me. Win-win, eh?

21 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: all too true

I guessed right. :o) Add 100 points to your score.

You’re so funny. You should comment here more. It means points for you and a full laughter tank for me. Win-win, eh?

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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