It was Monday morning, the kids were in school and I was on a mission. I was hunting for a coveted Nintendo Wii system. It was at the top of all three of my children's wish lists...and as I was about to find out, it was apparently at the top of many other people's wish lists too.
I sat at my desk at 9:30 in my PJs (the joys of a stay-at -home mom) with my 2ND cup of coffee and pulled out the good old fashioned phone book. My attack plan was to look up all the numbers of stores that may sell the system.
By 9:45 I had about 20 different numbers. I made the first call, "Yes, good morning. I'm calling to see if you have any Nintendo Wiis in stock." The kid on the other end of the line informed me that they'd gotten a shipment on Saturday but they'd sold out in a couple of hours. They didn't know when the next shipment was coming in. They couldn't hold any. They couldn't put me on a call or waiting list. During the next 15 minutes I ran through all my numbers with the same results. The best advice they could give me: call every day and be prepared to jump in the car and get down to the store before they sold out.
I hung up the phone with one number left to try. To be honest, I really expected the same response from the last place, but I dialed anyways. "Good morning, I was wondering if there was even a remote possibility that you might have a Nintendo Wii in stock." A lady with a wonderful southern accent answered, "As a matter of fact we just got a shipment of 12." I nearly fell off my chair. "Can you hold one for me?" I asked. "No, I'm sorry we can't do that." She replied. "I can give you my VISA number." I offered. "I'm sorry ma'am. It's strictly first come first served." She replied.
Well, in a panic I dressed, skipped the teeth brushing and the hair brushing and the make-up and tore off in the car. I was a half hour drive from the store..I made it in 15 minutes. The whole time I was driving I had this vision of me running into the store just as the last Wii was being packaged for someone who was 2 minuted ahead of me. I swung into a parking spot and ran full tilt into the store - I nearly bowled a sales associate over in my haste- ran up to the lady at the counter and panted, "I called. Do you still have any left?" They had 8 left. She kindly agreed to put one aside for me (I wasn't allowed to put it into my cart until I payed for it) while I picked up extra nun chucks and Wiimotes so all 3 kids could play. 10 minutes later - with the crazy panic madman glint starting to leave my eye - I was being checked out. There was one Wii left. The man behind me asked for it, but he needed a nun chuck and the shelves were empty. "I'll just run upstairs and get you one" the sales girl said and ran off.
As I was paying for mine, a second man came in and asked for a Wii. The lady behind the counter took the last one out of the box and began to ring it through just as the sales girl came back with the nun chuck. "Excuse me." the fist man said to the second one, rather aggressively, "But that Wii is mine, I was just waiting for a nun chuck." The lady behind the counter jumped in "I'm sorry sir, but we can't hold Wiis." Then the sales girl tried to explain that he was just waiting for her to come back before he paid for it.
Well, I paid for my Wii and left as the argument got worse. I walked away from a couple of grown men who looked ready step over their own mother to get their hands on a gaming system. As I stepped out into the fresh air I had a paranoid moment where I pictured someone tackling me from the side and running off with my Wii.
I smiled to my self as I settled into my car as I thought about how crazy people can get during the holiday season. The smile didn't last as I drove home and my thoughts changed. How sad that we are willing to go so crazy for material things. I was suddenly embarrassed by my desperation. I preach to my children, "Christmas isn't about what you get under the tree. Jesus was the best gift of all." But I had to admit, that Monday morning, the only thing on my mind was getting a hold of a Wii. At that moment, a Wii seemed like the most important thing on Christmas morning. I felt like without it, Christmas would have been a dissapiontment.
That afternoon when my kids got off the bus, they saw the list I'd left on my desk with the list of stores and a note next to each saying 'Wii sold out' . My youngest came up to me and slipped her little hand in mine. She looked up at me will her big brown eyes full of love and she smiled. "Don't worry Mommy. I saw your note and I know you tried your best." She assured me. My eyes filled with tears as I swept her up into a big bear hug. I laughed to myself as I realized I had put more importance on the Wii than they had. I came first in their hearts. People before things. "Besides, the best gift ever was from God. He gave us Jesus." She finished. The wisdom of a child.
Lord, thank you for the innocence of children. Thank you for showing us that what we try so hard to teach them does take root. And especially thank you for Jesus. He is indeed the best Christmas Gift we could ever hope for. Help us to keep our eyes on You this Season and teach through example. Help us to bless You this year as You have blessed us.