Wrapping it Up!

Does anybody wrap gifts any more?  With the advent of gift bags, we’re tempted to just take the easy way out.  Like me, maybe you recycle gift bags from Christmases past?  All you need do is buy packs of tissue paper to stuff in the tops of the ornamental bags.

However, some boxes are just too big for gift bags and must be wrapped.  Later this morning, I’m going to wrap a big box for my friend, J.G., because as she says, “I don’t wrap.”

Well, while I do wrap, I don’t rap, nor do I even listen to rap. Do you have an aversion to those ill-rhyming lyrics set to heavy bass beats like I do? Rap noise (because you can’t call it music) is way more offensive than the music and lyrics my parents complained about that I listened to back in the sixties and seventies.

And like me, do you also believe that music feeds your soul, whether good or bad?  It’s been a year of major trials in the life of my youngest of five children.  With the advent of gift bags also came the smart phones, more specifically the I-phone with it’s instant gratification of I-tunes, allowing kids to fill their phones with music of their choice.

I’ll admit.  I didn’t monitor that as I should have.  When I was a teen, I listened to albums in my room, and my folks knew what I was listening to quite easily.  Think about it–we had to actually go to a store and BUY the album.  Then we had to be fortunate enough to have a record player or stereo.  Not so with cell phones and ear buds.  Teens today can download whatever they want to their cell phones, and unless we parents are willing to take a listen through those ear buds, then we have no clue.

I’m one of those parents who has not been consistently inclined to tune in, although I have been consistent in dogging the genre of rap repeatedly to my youngest.  For the most part, there is nothing edifying in those lyrics.  Nothing.  Mostly they reflect a lifestyle with which my son has no first-hand experience.  No matter, because those words have pumped poison into his mind and soul through his ears, and I have (lazily) allowed it.  Although I didn’t give him the I-phone, (nor do I pay the bill), I’m guilty of allowing his oldest brother to indulge him.

It is beyond me why kids who are growing up in middle-class America with every advantage possible would be drawn to lyrics about life in the streets, popping a cap, and taking two in the back?  I really just don’t get it.

While I’m not looking for real answers to that hard question, the question I must answer for myself is when am I going to wise up and crack down?  While knowing what needs to be done, and before getting the chance to fully implement, it appears the problem just might have resolved on its own.

About three weeks ago, while in detention with the baseball coach, my youngest son’s I-phone was stolen from his backpack and has never been recovered.  Hence, he’s been I-tunes and ear bud free, his soul not being fed a steady diet of disgusting lyrics.  We talk more.  He’s blowing his duck calls again. He’s forced to engage real life for a change.  It’s refreshing.

What’s really strange about this ordeal is that he’s not asked his brother for a replacement, nor has he asked him to buy a new Sim card and re-activate his old cell phone.  To me, it’s a Christmas  miracle–I’ve gotten my son back and another chance to tune in and fine tune.

Meanwhile, the best Christmas gift I received back in December of 1992, turned 20 and reminds me that the simple pleasures in life are often the best.  I’m talking about our exceptional son–the one who was blessed with Down Syndrome.

Although he’s not smitten with rap, he does love watching funny You Tube videos on his computer, or memorizing dance videos like Beyonce` and Michael Jackson`, but most recently he’s taken with watching professional wrestling–something I’ve always detested.  Thinking it might be short-lived, and as long as he wasn’t taking down his classmates and putting them in choke holds, I’ve allowed it.

J's 20th Birthday

While he’s not putting the wrestling moves on his peers, he did surprise (and impress) us when he named EVERY PERSON in this WWE poster his sister gave him at his bowling birthday party last Friday night.  Oh well, it could be worse–he could be memorizing rap lyrics.

Whether you wrap your gifts this holiday season or put them in a bag, just know that life doesn’t always come in nice, neat packages tied with pretty ribbon and festive bows.  Know that some of life’s best gifts come in some of the most unlikely packages.  And that every trial could become a gift if you hang in there long enough to reap the reward on the other side of determination.

I’m determined  in 2013 to tune in more to what my sons are listening to and watching than worrying about how many folks have LIKED the Bayou Woman page on Facebook, as though those LIKES equal dollars in the bank.  I am determined to lean more on the Giver of all Gifts for the wisdom to know how to best care for the Gifts I’ve been given–to know which ones are worth keeping, which ones can be re-gifted, and which ones are not even worthy of the scrap pile.

Blessings to you and yours this holiday season,


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  1. Wow! A nice wake-up call to all of us. I, too, will pay more attention to the gifts I’ve already been given, including precious in-laws who won’t be with us too much longer, and at the other end of the continuum of life, a precious granddaughter who I’ll be raising for the foreseeable future. Thanks for bringing this to my attention with your usual flair with words.


  3. While I love all this new technology and how it’s made some things easier, I secretly long for the days when we didn’t have all of it. I’m glad I got my daughter through the teenage stage in her life without all that stuff. I believe like you, in the more simple things in life. For the last 5 years or so, most gifts from me are home made.

  4. Wow That was very well said and hit the spot. I am very touched by the special way you write of all your sons and daughter. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  5. My thoughts, those that can sing do so. Those that can’t do rap. I think I spelled that wrong.
    I can’t name any on the poster at all. Tell that boy Happy Birthday from Chilefarmer. And Merry Christmas to you all. Bill

  6. Merry Christmas Wendy we hope you have a great Christmas!!!!!!Cyrena Katelyn Jessie and Clayton Jolly

  7. Well said…sometimes the universe gives us a nudge in the right direction – other times, it’s more o’ a speedbump (or roadside wakeup bumps!). I see calmer waters and a steady heading for ye – and for young Termite! Birthday wishes to Miah and ye can tell him ye know a (slightly) famous ex-wrestler personally – Angel Hart o’ the Hart Family (aka Hart Foundation), Cousin to the one & only Brett Hart. O’ course ye know her as The QM (there is a photo on her FB profile pics) ;]

  8. Uh oh. I am guilty of liking some rap. Not many of the songs but, 2 or 3. I love the rythm of them. And, I cannot tell you the names of them or even who sings them. I have heard them on some of the TV shows.

    You are very apt in your words of how we let our younger ones get by with some of the stuff they listen to. And, it does influence them. As do TV shows and video games. I have parental control set on my TVs and my computer. It doesn’t catch everything but, it certainly helps.

    I hope all continues in the right track and I wish you and your family a wonderful, safe, healthy and happy Christmas. And a belated Happy Birthday to Miah.

  9. Merry Christmas! Hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday! Happy Belated Birthday to Miah. Glad Termite is coming around, he has been raised right, he will find his path again. Bryce is envious of him getting to duck hunt, his hunting is over for a while. The ortho surgeon told him he can’t even carry a gun until his arm is in a cast and the annual hunting weekend in Western OK is this weekend. He is not a happy boy.

  10. Well hey merrymerry….
    Never understood the need for ipods and I am Apple knocked.

    Hey if that is the Captain he is looking pretty good.

    Bowling? I miss it but the motion would send back into complete spasms. I got like 8 300 games on iPad app. though.

    How do you leave an ifone unattended?

    oh hppy holidays. Blizzard coming tonight … maybe.

    1. Hey girl. I totally agree that some problems will resolve on their own and that every trial could become a gift if you hang in there long enough. Merry Christmas to you and your family. 🙂

  11. You’re exactly on target. I happened into a movie theatre last Sunday, and was astonished by what I saw in the previews before the feature attraction. The blood-guts-gore of the movie previews was one thing, and I pretty much expected that. What I wasn’t prepared for were the video game previews. They left me queasy – they were far worse than I imagined.

    The great irony is that, in the early days of computers, it was common to hear programmers use the acronym “GIGO” – garbage in, garbage out. Now, those same programmers create garbage that our kids take in – and the same rules apply. If you listen only to garbage, it’s inevitable that you’ll start spouting some of it.

    I noticed it myself after a time down on the docks. I don’t swear, other than the completely understandable $(%&%# when I hit my thumb with a hammer, or can’t find my cell phone after an hour of searching. But for a while I was around people who seemed to have about 50% of their vocabulary dedicated to swear words. I started picking it up myself – until the day I actually heard the “f word” come out of my mouth, and sat myself down for a little self-evaluation. I changed some of my associations, and discovered when I wasn’t listening to that stuff all day, every day, I stopped spouting it myself.

    Heck, even Annie Dillard made note of the phenomenon when she was writing about writing. As she says, the author “is careful of what he reads, for that is what he will write. He is careful of what he learns, for that is what he will know.”

    Here’s to a new year of paying more attention! We really can make changes in our lives, and end up happier for it.

    1. The greatest example of this is the US Military service. When you leave active duty, you have to deprogram your language. It takes serious effort to clean up your foul mouth because you didn’t even realize you had such a potty mouth. It was just second nature.

      It takes real will power, and when you finially kick the bad habit, heaven help you if you join the ready reserves and get a refresher course one weekend a month and two weeks steady in the summer. LOL

      Being a kid is tuff, Being a Mom must be a ….. Well, Mom’s have my respect.

  12. While I normally don’t like to hear of theft, in this case, the theft of your son’s Iphone seems a blessing in disguise. And the fact that he’s not pestering anyone for a replacement, is a true gift.

    My hearing took a dive south just as rap was taking off, so I haven’t been exposed to much of it. I guess my age was a factor but what little bit I did hear on MTV didn’t impress me at all.

    Shore’s right about that garbage in, garbage out. I’ve unconsciously fallen into that habit of swearing more than once over the years, after spending a lot of time around folks that do it. Mostly Hubby’s male acquaintances, though Hubby, himself, doesn’t tend to have a potty mouth.

    Anyway, I came by to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.