Human curiosity leads to asking questions and finding answers. This can be a great thing. It moves the human race forward, new technologies are created, diseases are cured, and we treat each other just a little better. It can be a wonderful thing…but can also lead to our own detriment.
We like to ruin things for ourselves. We ask a few too many questions taking all the fun our of magic tricks that used to delight, pushing boundaries a little too far, pressing too many buttons. It takes the joy out of things, they end up losing their cache.
Sure “cache” can be lost in a few ways; repetition, change, jaded adulthood. But the biggest, the worst offender is curiosity. We find out a little too much about something that simply enjoying it is impossible. We are forced to think of all that goes into it and surrounds it.
Sadly this has happened to Christmas. It is a time of year when we should be cherishing our family, enjoying our time with friends, and saying happy birthday to baby Jesus. But no all we care about are the gifts we are going to get. We keep asking questions, checking bags, searching and ruin the surprise for ourselves. No matter how badly you want something once you know you are getting it you aren’t that excited when you do.
I remember when I first ruined the holiday, my curiosity got the best of me and this happy time of year has never been the same.
It was a few days before Christmas as I tiptoed through the house. I was old enough to know Santa wasn’t real but young enough to still believe in him. I knew my parents bought my brother and I presents every year but there was never a trace of them before Christmas day; no mysterious packages, no receipts, no wrapping paper. This had led my wild imagination to believe that there was a conspiracy to mask his existence.
I moved cautiously but quickly as I peeked under beds, behind doors, and in closets searching for Christmas presents. I had done this in previous years without success expecting to find the same as years before, nothing. There was always a thrill in looking in possible hiding places dramatically swinging doors open or sweeping aside clothes as I hold my breath for just a moment. Sure at first it was disappointing not finding anything but then those butterflies would start fluttering in my belly as it gave merit to my Santa-spiracy.
I decided to check one more place, it was doubtful but I had to be thorough. I walked down the hall about to check the coat closet by the front door. The only light was that of the Christmas Tree not realizing that the road to my demise was apparently lit by a string of multicoloured blinking bulbs.
I slid the door open and it looked like a deep black void that absorbed light. I stared at it a moment as my eyes adjusted and empty hollow jacket sleeves came into view. I saw nothing unusual there. I could have turned and walked away and kept my childish innocence intact for at least one more year but something (the devil maybe) urged me forward. I ran my hands across the coats then push on them to see if anything was behind them. To my surprise (and detriment) there was something there. It was a large box with a garbage bag draped over it. My heart leap. Yes! I had found that pot of gold, that ancient relic, Atlantis!
I lifted a corner of the garbage bag a little colour showed itself but in that light I could not be sure. I lifted it a little further and revealed what was under that masking shroud. It was pink, bright pink, then I saw the swirly “B” then the “a” then the “r”. I should have stopped but it was too late. My curiosity had found it’s drug and only wanted more. I unveiled what was to be my “Barbie Magical Motor Home“. As the box said “Van turns into a luxury home and fun-rolling sports buggy!”
I had been leaving hints for my parents for months about this. I had been almost unbearable the last month in particular as every conversation turned into how cool it would be for my Barbies to have one of these. And now here it was. I was happy, beaming, ecstatic. I was screaming on the inside as a smile spread across my face.
With that my curiosity was satisfied. It was spent, went to bed, and left me all alone. That is when the reality of finding this gift really sank in. I had proven to myself that Santa Claus did not exist. The magic of the gift giving season was now gone forever. I suddenly felt really sad, the smile disappearing from my face. The colour of the box seemed unbearably bright and i couldn’t look at it anymore. I let the bag fall hiding it from my now weary eyes. I made sure that everything in the closet looked undisturbed, closed the door, and sulked my way to bed.
When Christmas finally came I knew what was in the giant box under the tree but I looked damned surprised when I unwrapped it. It should have been on tape, I would have won an Oscar. It wasn’t that I didn’t want it, it was that I knew. It is hard to be surprised when you know what is coming.
So don’t ruin your Christmas by snooping or asking too many questions. Just wait, half the fun in getting a gift is not knowing what it is. Even if it is not something you really wanted it is still a surprise. Tell curiosity to take a hike you are busy at JC’s awesome b-day party, your friends are there, your family is there, and you just wanna have a good time.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!