Jeanne Ryan Recalls The Best Christmas Present Ever
Growing up the youngest of five kids had it's benefits and of course it's downside as well. As with any big family hand me downs are a part of life, but when there is a big age gap between you and your siblings thankfully it was rarely clothes. But one thing I did get as a hand me down was a bike, and I hated it. It was old, clunky and way to big for me. For a kid a bike is your ticket to freedom and I wanted my own.
For whatever reason I waited until winter when I was a whopping 8 years old to ask for a new bike. Growing up in Wisconsin this seemed like a ridiculous gift for that time of year given the cold and snow, but I had my heart set on it. I am first to admit the upside of being the youngest was I was spoiled rotten, so I did not think asking for a new bike would be a problem. I left notes all over the house and it was top of my list for Santa as well.
My parents tried to explain to me that winter would be a tough time for them or Santa to find a bike and realistically I would not even be able to ride it. I had mastered riding my sisters bike without training wheels years before and stuck to my guns that this was all I wanted. My poor Mom and Dad, back when I was a kid we did not have the internet or Amazon so this would be quite the feat to pull off. They explained to me that this would be on them to try and find because Santa would not be able to fit this on his sleigh They promised they would do their best, but begged me for some back up ideas in case they could not find one in the dead of winter.
I made an additional list, of course when pressed I could think of lots of other toys I wanted as well. Our family tradition was we opened presents from each other on Christmas Eve and then Santa had all our presents under the tree Christmas morning. That Christmas I looked under the tree as each of us kids stacked our presents in front of ourselves taking turns ripping open every package. Of course I knew none of them contained a bike so I tried to keep it together and acted excited with each present I opened.
As we finished up and bagged up all the bows and wrapping paper my heart was heavy but, I was determined to stay strong. Then out of nowhere my dad comes into the dining room wheeling in my brand new bike! It was purple with a glittery purple banana seat and big winged handle bars. I jumped up screaming for joy and crying with happiness. Of course we had about 2 feet of snow on the ground so my dad carried it downstairs for me so I could ride it around in the unfinished part of the basement. I rode that bike every day ready for Spring to come as fast as it could. To this day I have no idea how my parents pulled that off, but that bike was my pride and joy for years until I outgrew it. Looking back it made me realize just how amazing my parents were, with 5 kids to try and buy presents for they somehow managed to make that the most amazing Christmas of all. Not because I got what I wanted, but knowing how much time and energy they put into making my wish come true.