Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)
TITLE: It's the Thought That Counts
By Joy Bach
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So typical Christmas shopping has never been on my “to do” list.
For years, my plan has been to buy all during the year. If I was in a store for some explicit reason and saw an item that I thought one of my family might like, I would purchase it. Arriving home, it would be labeled and placed on a shelf where it awaited the magic wrapping time. Of course, the process needed to start early in the year for something handmade, like a crocheted or knitted afghan. Christmas gifts have always been on my mind year ‘round.
However, that still left me with the wrapping and mailing to do all at once, which was never enjoyable to me. So at the beginning of this year, I made an announcement to my family. From now on, when I see something I think you might like, I’m mailing it to you at the time of purchase. Think of it as an early Christmas present. I even made up labels that said,
In keeping with my new philosophy
about Christmas, now when I see
something I think you might like,
instead of putting it away on the
shelf and waiting for Christmas, I
will give it to you now.
Merry Early Christmas!!
So I face this Christmas with much less stress. I’m crocheting an afghan, which I started in June. Before giving it, I will type a letter to put in with the gift, telling where the afghan has traveled, who I was with as I worked on it, and the prayers that went up for the recipient of the gift.
A few years ago, I received one of my most unique Christmas gifts. It all started when I opened a present and it contained a set of binoculars from my husband.
I NEVER WANTED ANY BINOCULARS!
I thought the gift a bit strange. Stammering out my thank you, I was interrupted by his stream of words regarding these wonderful binoculars. Taking me to the back yard, he spoke of watching the birds in the bird feeder. None of it added up. I laid my hand on his forehead, but he didn’t seem to have a fever.
Unbeknownst to me, I had created a dilemma for him. Two daughters and I had planned two Christmas celebrations that year; one in my home and one in another town. My husband somehow missed that memo and thought he was all ready for Christmas (for a change). When the two-part Christmas was explained to him, he panicked and left the house, hurrying to purchase me another gift. The binoculars were “part one” of his gift, which I opened in our home with one daughter and family present on Sunday, December 22nd. Part Two was planned for Boise, Idaho with another daughter and family on Christmas Day.
December 25th I received the second part of the gift from my husband…a pile of website printouts. Each page held the information about a NASCAR race track. I was to pick one! WE WERE GOING TO A RACE!!!! You use binoculars at a race track. It all made sense. He hadn’t lost it after all.
We had a good laugh as he shared with me about the expression on my face when I opened the gift of binoculars…and how hard I tried to be nice about them. That’s when he explained about the night weeks before, when he had repeatedly gotten out of bed and left the room. Each time, I asked him if he was ok. He always said, “Yes, I’m fine. Now go back to sleep”.
It had taken him most of the night to print out the websites. Too bad he killed so many trees. I knew before I looked at any pages which race track I wanted to experience.
That was a wonderful present and I enjoyed every minute of the four days we sat at the race track. I can’t say the same for him. As we sat there on the third day, he leaned over and said, “Next year I’m giving you a book”.
He actually fell asleep. Next time I go to a race, I’ll leave him at home. But as always, it’s the thought that counts. He had really good thoughts.
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