Cowboys Roam the Packages
A Christmas ritual my sister, Sky, and I enjoyed for many years involved our tiny toy cowboys and their trusty steeds. Yes, I was a nut for horses as a kid, and had two favorite horses at the local stable, Sunset and Frosty. My enthusiasm for horses extended to having a prized collection of plastic and rubber cowboys and horses.
Before Christmas my parents put wrapped gifts on our dining table, where they would be handy to give to visitors and to put under the tree on Christmas eve. Sky and I imagined each year that the packages were mountains and valleys, and we created landscapes with the gifts where the cowboys roamed. Sometimes there were pretend shootouts as bank robbers or cattle rustlers were caught. The horses raced up and down the hillsides and rested in the valleys, which were a gorgeous landscape of Christmas wrap, peopled with snowmen and holy men and Santas.
Our dad’s role with the hills of gifts was to find his, lift up high, and guess what was in the gaily wrapped package. His guesses were amazingly spot on, even when the size of the box attemped to fool him. Our gift landscape had a brief and much enjoyed life each year in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
So if your children or grandkids have a bored moment in the days before Christmas, let them get out favorite small toys and build themselves a world. Small race cars and trucks can become a race track, Lego construction workers could create buildings, and the wise men could set out on their holy journey. Let their imaginations reign supreme.