Andrew invited me to participate in his holiday event, providing the theme of family and kids. My mind immediately ran to the myriad of experiences a mother of four has after spending 20+ years “holiday-ing” with her kids.

  • Josh’s first Christmas, when a roomful of twenty adults sat looking at each other from six a.m. until noon because the one-year-old was still asleep and a mother never wakes a sleeping baby.
  • The year PJ (3) and the cat curled up in matching boxes and feel asleep under the tree.
  • The first year Asia (18) brought a male guest to Christmas morning and my husband felt the immediate need to clean all his guns at the kitchen table.
  • The year the dog got tangled in the Christmas lights, panicked and ran out the door and off into the woods dragging the tree.

If I could provide video, I would have probably chosen one of these stellar moments in my Mommy-memory, but since this is text only, you get the story of Coby and Pokemon cards.

There are several Christmases in recent memory that centered around Pokemon. With three boys that all cycled through Pokemon obsession, it was inevitable. Sometimes cards, sometimes video games and one particularly memorable year – matching Pikachu footy pajamas for the two little ones. This particular year, Coby wanted Pokeman cards – as many cards as Santa could carry.

And he got them.

Hundreds of them.

From everyone we knew, and, I still suspect, some people we didn’t, who saw it as a great way to clean out their kids closets.

He was thrilled. He sorted. He counted. He arranged. He bartered, and he fell asleep with his head on a partially filled three-ring binder.

The day after Christmas was Sunday. I was still working as the youth director at my church, so I woke everyone at the crack of dawn and off we went.

I was busy checking supplies in all the classrooms when Bill, our minister, appeared, took hold of my arm, and led me to the sanctuary. I attempted a protest, but he assured me there was something I had to see.

I stepped into the back of the sanctuary – still mostly empty – to find each of the 300+ seats filled with a sloppily wrapped package. Two or three amused adults stood around clutching a handful of recently unwrapped Pokemon cards.

Coby had woken in the night and used every scrap of used and unused wrapping paper in our house to wrap ALL of his Pokemon cards and distributed them on the chairs in the church.

I looked around for him, but he was nowhere to be seen.

Bill looked at me and asked, “Remember last week when Kyle asked me why the wise men brought such stupid gifts during the children’s lesson?”

I nodded, already seeing where this was going. “You told him that they brought the things they valued most and that there was no greater gift.”

Bill smiled. “Apparently, Coby took that to heart.”


That morning was seven years ago. Bill still has his Pokemon cards framed in his office.

Here’s to a holiday for you and yours filled with love and Pokemon cards.

About The Author:

Elizabeth North is the Executive Director of Dreamspinner Press.  1383261_572205592843796_52818682_n