So the gifts have started streaming in? The sparkly ones you’ve been hinting at all year. The little ones that surpass size with sweetness. The thoughtful ones that go straight for your heart. The goofy ones that tickle your funny bone. The saucy red ones, that are probably more for the pleasure of the giver. The magnificent ones that make it to social media platforms, because, you know, just receiving the gift is not enough, you have to make the rest of us feel bad about our own gifts.
Or maybe, your gift situation is a bit more complicated? Telepathic, maybe? From the giver’s mind to yours. “She knows I love her; no gift could possibly measure up to that!” True, you stingy fellow, but a gift couldn’t possibly hurt that knowledge, could it?
Perhaps your gift is the kind you’ve been receiving all year? “I put food on the table, I clothe you, I pay your school fees. A little appreciation would be nice!” Again, True. Very much appreciated. Not to water down your efforts or anything, but this here gift is called duty.
Then there are those other gifts. The ones that make you want to snatch yours back. You gave a rolex, and got a blender. You plaster what you imagine is a smile on your face “Wow darling, it is just what I wanted!” But silently you scream “A blender? Really?” Ok, calm down. I want to punch him in the face too. But think. Why did you get him a rolex? Was it purely in anticipation of the gift you thought you’d receive? If yes, then shame on you. You have failed colossally in the art of gift giving. He on the other hand, probably saw that your Jurassic blender was on its last leg, knew how religiously you blend your ingredients, and thought it the perfect gift. And in so doing, he proved the better giver! Unfair, I know. I mean, a blender? Really?
And what about those gifts, we can’t actually give or receive? The ones we can never truly own, except in little corners of memory. Like a day by a waterfall. A slice of a golden sunset. A picnic by a lazy creek. Little snippets of time.
Speaking of time, it’s not even Christmas day yet, and already I got two clocks. Ok Universe, I get it. I need to watch my time better. And I will, I promise. But first, about the clocks; both were custom made – one is a little tree with a haunting image and a hauntingly beautiful poem. A gift that only the giver and the receiver could fully comprehend. Funny story, I’m both the giver and the receiver. And no, I didn’t give it to myself. Story for another day. Interesting one, I promise.
The second clock is engraved with my name and the words “Thank you”. So many things ran through my mind as I unwrapped this one. I swear gift wrapping is designed to test the strength of our hearts. There’s that frustrating cello tape, sticking to your fingers. Then there’s that beautiful wrapping you really wish you didn’t have to ruin, but you spare only a second of guilt before you swoop in for the kill. And then gasp! Words stall. Words stop. Words totally unnecessary.
Your eyes and hands may be all over it, but if you look closely enough, you will find tucked delicately inside the gift, a little piece of the giver’s heart.