Sunday, December 1, 2013

Autism Answer: Christmas Lesson In A Travel Mug

Last Christmas my youngest son (who was twelve at the time) and I were in the store grabbing groceries. I spotted a cute Santa Travel Mug and picked it up to show him. "It's cute isn't it!" I exclaimed. 

"You sure would like that, wouldn't you mom?" he asked. Right away I put the mug down and tried to take back my excitement. 

"No, no, it's not important," I was babbling. "Please, sweetie, don't spend your last couple of dollars on me. I know what you're thinking, and that's a good enough present. I know you love me enough to buy that mug, so let's leave it at that. Okay?" He nodded and we headed out of the store. 

You see, I wasn't even able to buy my children more than one small gift each. Our Christmas present is always spending time together and enjoying pumpkin pie. We can rarely afford gifts. 

Anyway, Christmas morning I saw that my son had placed a gift for me under the tree. I was pretty sure I could guess what it was. Opening that Santa Travel Mug was bittersweet. I wanted him to keep his money for himself, my sons ask for so little. But the card he'd written made the entire experience so delicious the bitter was forever forgotten. 

"From The Heart Counts Most" he'd written on the front of a school folder no longer being used for school. Inside he had drawn a tree, a star and these words,"Money is nothing. From the heart is everything. Merry Christmas mom. I love you."

He was right. I'd almost forgotten, and by begging him to keep his money for himself I had almost taught the wrong lesson. 

But he was smarter than me and offered that most beautiful Christmas morning reminder. 

As I sit here typing, I'm sipping coffee from my Santa Travel Mug. That's much more of a true gift than any snack or soda he may have bought himself with the few dollars he'd had in his pocket. 

I'm going to remember to accept gifts from now on. Whether they come in the form of snuggles, compliments, connections, smiles, or Travel Mugs under the tree. 

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!

A Christmas Gift of Enormous Proportions!!