My family’s house has never been the one that was decorated like a ginger bread house for Christmas. We are simplistic when it comes to the holidays. My mother may put up an artificial tree with enough ornaments to fan out over the branches. Sometimes she puts a velvet ribbon or two on the door. Whenever people come over, they ask why there presents aren’t under the tree, and my mother grumbles about how she waits until Christmas Eve to stuff all of the presents under the tree.
Lately, I haven’t been wanting many presents, which has satisfied my parents as they close their wallets before everyone else. My simple request has been that I have enough money to buy what I want from Amazon.
On the Christmas of my ninth grade year, I managed to persuade my mother into signing up for an Amazon prime membership. After we ordered our first package, it fascinated me how seeing a tan cardboard box, with black duct tape and the Amazon symbol, can give you so much glee. I became immersed in the American holiday tradition of purchasing with little to no restrictions, simply for the enjoyment of it. For whatever reason, the idea of sitting down at a computer screen, dabbing at the corners of my eyes in between each flash of green that appears after they notify me that they’ve received my order, couldn’t be more satisfying. I crack my knuckles before alternating between keys on the keyboard, searching for new items that I’ll probably forget about when a new box crowds the porch. My eyes glimmer like a child’s when they meet Santa Claus for the first time at a crowded mall with other children attempting to shove their way towards him. I greedily carry the package off to my room and rip apart the box, tossing the remains of it on my bed.
I don’t know why I have such a fascination for the many terrains the box traveled just to get to my porch. Every time I order something, I like to see the location it’s coming from. Sometimes it says something as nearby as Atlanta, Georgia, or somewhere as far away as Rhode Island. I like opening the box and imagining that the person who packaged it wondered what type of person I am and why I admire that particular item.
I’ve made the decision that my favorite Christmas colors are not green and red, or silver and gold. In fact, they’re tan and black.
-Christina Sumpter, Senior Creative Nonfiction Editor