Call Me Victor

By Pam Drake

Call Me Victor

Once upon a time, two children decided to go shopping for Christmas presents for their parents. Of course, this was encouraged by the parents. Who doesn’t like a surprise? At the time J.C. Penney’s came up with a brilliant marketing concept by creating a dollar store for children. This “store” was fenced in and decorated with all the panache to attract every child. Women dressed as Ms. Claus assisted the children as they looked over the variety of small items costing $1 each. Obviously, Mr. Claus had a number of wives since several women were working in the shop. Children were dropped off at the fenced-in “store” with their dollars while parents were set free and encouraged to buy gifts for their children. Obviously, this was the intent since you couldn’t get out of Penney’s before the time to return to pick up your children and gifts. A win-win for JCP!

Our children were thrilled to be all grown up and able to shop on their own. They didn’t realize that their guards in the little locked down store wore red and had white hair. Stacey, age 7, and James, age 5, each had one dollar. Two dollars = 1 dollar gift for each parent. The children cooperated (something they did only for people other than their parents) and chose presents which were promptly wrapped. We arrived back at the little store to find children and gifts waiting. Ms. Claus had gone on to someone else. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to claim the kids or go for the biggest gifts. (Never did grow out of that love of big gifts.)

Christmas morning came. The children were bubbling with excitement wanting us to open our presents first. They giggled and laughed and danced around the room handing out our presents. James and Stacey huddled close to me as I opened, much to my delight, a small elf figurine. After that success they could hardly contain themselves until Jim opened his hand-picked gift. He opened the package under watchful eyes each child on the brink of all out exuberance. For several seconds he sat motionless looking at his new coffee mug. Then he grabbed the children hugging and kissing them profusely with gratitude. I must say that the expression on Jim’s face when he opened his gift was by far one of my favorite Christmas memories, for on the side of the mug was the name Victor.

Presents come in all sorts of guises. Sometimes they are tied up with beautiful paper and ribbon. Other times they might come with the name Victor on the side. No matter what you call it, a gift of the heart is memorable.

About this writer

  • Pam Drake Pam Drake started her career writing social dramas for schools. She continued to pursue her passion for writing by creating business newsletters and as a contributing editor for Christine Columbus. Currently, she is writing a book on traveling with children. Pam loves spending time with her family and living in Portland, Oregon.

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One Response to “Call Me Victor”

  1. Patricia says:

    My eyes are wet. What a superb job! And such a sweet story — just the right touch of reality and love; all the things you do so well with words, expression and feelings. You go, girl!

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