The presents are unwrapped and put away. The gifts were chosen for our loved ones and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care. Even so, I wonder if I strayed off track this year? I did all of my shopping from lists that I asked my family to provide. My loved ones had some idea of almost everything they were getting this and most every year. Is this the true spirit of giving? What has happened to the spirit of surprise?
In the movie, “Sleepless in Seattle,” Meg Ryan comments while shopping with her fiance`, “Surprise is highly overrated.” How do you feel about surprises? Would you rather know what you are getting or be surprised?
I remember a Christmas when I gave my dad an electric train set. Yes, he was likely in his 50’s and I gave him a train set because I remembered him saying once that he had always wanted one as a child. It was a complete surprise. He didn’t know what to say. I think he thought he’d opened the wrong present. But, the next time I went by, it was put together on a piece of plywood, and I could see boyhood in my dad’s face. Now that was a gift.
And then there’s the year my daughter asked for a designer handbag that was not in the budget. After explaining to her that we just couldn’t afford something that expensive, I felt like Scroogette -the dream-buster. I began to save extra money from my household budget to be sure she was happy on Christmas morning. This picture was worth every penny.
And this was a priceless moment when my son put his iPod in his great-grandmother’s ears. While an iPod wasn’t her Christmas gift, just to sit and listen to “his music,” was a gift in itself to her. Her smile was ours.
These are fun memories and in my opinion the true spirit of giving. Giving something unexpected is always more fun. I hope your new year is full of fun and lots of surprises. I’m not expecting a new camera anytime soon.