Merry Rexmas

Susie’s Goff’s creation Tree-Rex gone wild at the Houston Museum of Natural Science – Sugar Land! Merry Rexmas!

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher
Photos by Kelley Sweet Photography

Christmas has arrived with a roar this year – a dino-size roar – and I couldn’t be more excited!

Growing up I was taught that it is better to give than to receive. And Mr. Kaminski and I, in turn, taught our children to be philanthropic – to share their time, talents and gifts with others. I remember when our babies were in pre-school, and they asked to have a Christmas party. Of course, we agreed, but we also told them that they needed to do something good with their idea. We explained that many children didn’t get gifts at Christmas, and we invited their friends to a party and to bring a toy for a child in need. I contacted our local police department and an officer came to the party to collect the toys for their Santa Behind the Badge program and explain to the children who would receive their toys and why. Now granted, this was a risky endeavor for four and five-year-olds, but Mr. Kaminski and I felt strongly that it was never too young to learn to share your blessings with those less fortunate. About 20 children attended, listened raptly to the officer and each presented their toy to the officer to give to another child. Not one child balked or shed a tear about giving up their toy.

It was around that same that time Christmas got crazy for our babies. Our children, being the first grandchildren born on both sides, were adored and spoiled by loving grandparents. And that’s an amazing thing – until it’s not. You see, they were inundated with gifts during the holy season, and it got to be too much for them and this momma. That was when the Kaminski family got real about the reason for the season and adopted the three-gift rule.

Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior who received gifts from the three wisemen celebrating his birth: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Our philosophy was simple: If it was good enough for Jesus, it was good enough for the Kaminski kids, who also could ask for three gifts for Christmas. That stopped the two-page laundry list of “wants,” because now, Kass and Kolt had to prayerfully consider what they absolutely wanted or needed for Christmas. And no matter what those three things were, they materialized, whether it was rare Nikes that had to purchased from China or a Wii game system that involved Mr. Kaminski spending the night in the Target parking lot to procure. I did deliver pizza to him at midnight, as well as call the Missouri City PD to check on him about 3:30 am, so it was all good. Dispatch was super nice about it, though amused, in case you’re wondering.

Tim and Patti Kaminski and Susie and Doug Goff with Tree-Rex at his new forever home – the Houston Museum of Natural Science – Sugar Land.

So, this year, when Mr. Kaminski decided, unbeknownst to me, to purchase the most amazing homage to the Houston Museum of Natural Science Sugar Land at this year’s Jingle Tree – Susie Goff’s incredible design aptly named Tree-Rex – it didn’t take us long to decide where he needed to live. Tree-Rex will live each Christmas exactly where he should live at the museum, and he will be front and center each year for children both young and old to enjoy year after year as a holiday tradition.

As we visited Tree-Rex and permanently gifted him last week, we were honored to have Doug and Susie Goff join us. It warmed my heart as children literally squealed with joy as they saw the brightly colored dynamic dino come to life twinkling with lights from head to toe. Yes, Tree-Rex is home exactly where he should be with his pre-historic big brother.

As Francis Pharcellus Church penned in 1897 in the New York Sun in response to eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter, “Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus.”  Santa lives in all of us, because it is so much better to give than to receive. Merry Christmas porch sitters! Ho, ho, hugs! See y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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