the rewards of Christmas

For me Christmas was never really about gifts for me. okay that's a lie I've already established that as a child I loved gifts for me. However the older I got the less I liked them. Maybe it was because I couldn't afford to give them to my friends and those that I hold dear to me. Now that I have a solid job (Go Mariners!) I can actually afford to give gifts and feel like I am doing good. I would cite last year as a good year in terms of being able to give gifts but here's the thing - last year I made CD's for my closest friends and I have it on good accounts that at least 2 of those friends have yet to even listen to them once. This is why homemade gifts suck. I put way more thought and effort into those gifts than I would any store bought gift and yet I'm sure if I had just went out and bought them some cheap hunk of crap they would have appreciated it more. Conclusion I am never giving homemade gifts ever again.

Anyway this year I had a plan in motion since some time in October. I had been looking for birthday presents for my best friend Dean on Amazon when I found her absolute favorite TV show Red Dwarf for an insanely great deal. I then start a dialog with her that says something to the effect of I'm sorry I can't get you this for your birthday but since I am saving my money now I might be able to get it for you for Christmas. which because she is an amazing friend she of course told me that was okay and that I shouldn't get it for her since I need to save my money and while it would make her happy to get it, it would make her happier if I was responsible and saved my money. Her birthday went smoothly and I bookmarked that Amazon page.

I won't go into the detail of me watching and hoping for the price to drop. Why you might be asking? Because that was boring and no one wants to read about how I was watching a website for 2 months. So let's get to the action shall we? Dean and I got lunch about 2 weeks before Christmas and a little before the annoying snowstorm hit. I had just gotten my new phone and I was showing her the Hippo I was going to get for her sister Tess to see if she thought she would like it which reminded me - I need to order Red Dwarf for her. I had budgeted perfectly and had more than enough money for it. So while we are eating dinner I ordered her gift and told her exactly what I was doing. Well of course I was met with a chorus of "What did you get me?" as if I would actually tell her. This is when I activate plan throw her off my scent.
"I can't tell you
but I can tell you that unfortunately I wasn't able to get you Red Dwarf. It was just too much. But I hope you like what I got you."
"Oh Allen it's okay I know it's a lot I will get it some day it'll be okay."
"Yeah but I feel bad because I know you really want it."
"No really it's okay I would be happy even if you didn't get me anything"
"Okay I just hope that you like it."

And like that the plan was set. Over the next two weeks whenever she mentioned red Dwarf (and she mentioned it A LOT) I knew I had done the right thing despite lying to my best friend. Then it was Christmas and of course she was snowed in so we couldn't exchange gifts on Christmas or Christmas Eve. The snow finally thawed and we made plans to meet on Monday before I went to work to exchange gifts and get Jamba Juice at my mall. This is getting even better for me by the second - now we're gonna be in public and I am about 50% sure she is going to freak out.

Once we get together I first give her the gift she knew what it was, Lovespell from Victoria's Secret because she had mentioned she was out of it. Then I gave her sister Tess her gifts of a Hippo and an Otter. Then just to drag it out even more I gave her her sister Raven's gift so she could give it to her. then I pulled out the box with Red Dwarf in it. "Oh I think this one might belong to you too." As I handed to her what she would later describe as the single greatest gift she has gotten ever. What I was greeted with when she opened it was this -

Okay maybe it wasn't quite that. But she did scream in the middle of the mall. Anyway that look on her face down there was well worth every single penny and then some. This is why I love Christmas being able to make people forget their sorrows even just for a little bit and be truly happy with the joy of a child.

1 comment:

David L. said...

That's very thoughtful of you Allen. Dean does look very happy in that picture.

I'm glad to call you a friend because you are very thoughtful, and I would definitely appreciate your homemade CD ANY DAY