Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How Not to Re-gift

This Christmas I experienced a new gift situation. Names have been changed to protect the innoncent. In the world of Christmas whirlwinds of gift giving, we all find ourselves in situations of some acquaintances that we don't know what to give to or how much to spend and sometimes the awkward moment when someone gives you something and you didn't get them anything. Person A and I exchanged gifts before Christmas but did not open them in front of each other.

When I saw Person A after Christmas, he thanked me for the book. I said, "Um, there was more than a book." I had bought him a gift card and wrapped it in red Christmas wrapping paper and put it in the middle of the book. The book was a small one with jokes in it and I thought for sure even if he just flipped through it that he would see it.

That was when Person A had to come clean. "Well, I saw 'Person B' and I thought he would like the book and so I gave it to him." I was not upset nor sad. Person A is normally a self-centered person and I actually had to refrain from laughing out loud.

After a while, he asked me what the gift card was for. I knew it was a place he liked. It was at this point that I could have told him it was for twice the amount too, but I didn't.

As we thought about the incident, we realized that there would be a chance that Person B would re-gift the book to a Person C who would also enjoy the book. Who would actually end up with the gift card?

Person A knew that I would see Person B before him and asked if I could ask him if he found the gift card. Well, I was a little uncomfortable but with the help of another friend, we asked him. Person B had the biggest laugh over it. Yes, he had found the gift card and he thought it might be a mistake. It was not a gift card that he would have used anyways, but he plans on having fun teasing Person A about this.

So, this Christmas, I've seen a new gift giving scenario--the re-gifting/Indian giver. I think I will laugh about this for years to come.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baby Jesus Finds his way to our home for Christmas

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Back in April 2010 I posted about the creche that my husband bought at a tag sale from acquaintences. It was a beautiful set. Each piece was wrapped in newpaper or plastic. My husband took out several pieces, but not all. When he got home I took it all out and found there was no baby Jesus. What good is a creche without Jesus? I see the person often who sold us the creche and when I told him the dilemna, he said it was sold "As is." This displeased me coming from someone I've known for years. This summer I got tired of the box hanging around and told George that we should just donate it to Goodwill. He asked, "So someone else can be disappointed?". I said that we would label it, "No Jesus." For some reason we held onto it. Well, my son decided unbeknownst to me to go on a quest. He figured somewhere there had to be someone who had an extra baby Jesus from a creche that they didn't have any more and that they probably couldn't throw it away, but donated it to some kind of thrift store or consignment shop or antique store. Lo and behold, he found one. On Christmas Eve he gave me it as a present. When I opened it, I was so surprised and asked, "How did you?" I wanted to make sure that it wasn't illegally gained (not that he would do that) and that some other family was not going without Jesus. I told him how close we were to getting rid of the creche. We got it out of the box. He was afraid that the baby would be too big for the set. On the contrary, as you can see from the pictures, not only is the size correct, it is amazing how Mary's hand reaches down and touches the cradle just right. So, Ben brought the baby Jesus to our house this Christmas--the perfect gift originally from our Father in Heaven and symbolically from my son to us.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Professor Hale's Christmas Tale

I've invented a character named Professor Hale. I have put him in various unusal situations that one day I would like to publish into a children's book. The situations are silly and fun, but for this Christmas I wrote this more serious tale and I thought I would share it here with you. Merry Christmas!

After shoveling the snow on a cold winter’s day

Professor Hale sat in his chair nodding away.

Visions and dreams paraded through his head

Until he woke suddenly with a feeling of dread.

The place in the future was familiar and yet again not,

He had to share with us all, before he forgot.

We gathered around the Christmas tree aglow

As he told us of his dream on that cold night of snow.

“I walked the streets of a city lined with colored lights.

Decorations on either side shone bold and bright.

‘Ho, ho, ho. Happy Holiday!’ Santa shouted to all

As people rushed by him to get to the mall.

Pushing and shoving, shouting, ‘Get out of my way!’

They fought for the bargains on sale that day.

All were not rude, some wished ‘Season’s Greetings to

        you tonight.’

But something was wrong. Something was just not right.

An uneasy feeling came over me from head to toe

I asked a man, ‘What is today? Do you know?’

He looked at me strange and as he walked away, said,

‘December 24th, Holiday Eve. Have you lost your head?’

A chill ran up my spine.

I rushed through the streets looking for a sign.

I searched for a church, yes that would do

But the church marque said, ‘Happy Holiday’ too.

I ran to another as someone was going in

‘The holiday eve service is about to begin.’

What about Christ, it’s the eve of His birth?

‘Shh…we don’t want to offend in this season of mirth.’

I nearly fell backwards as the words echoed in my head,

No Christ in Christmas. It was as if He were dead.

I climbed to the top of the stairs and turned to the crowd.

‘Merry Christmas!’ I shouted and then again quite loud.

People stopped, ‘What did he say?’

Some glared, some stared, some walked away.

‘Merry Christmas!’ again I loudly proclaimed.

‘You bigot!’ ‘How rude!’ ‘You should be ashamed!’

If I’ve offended, I have not meant to

But please keep Christ in Christmas,

     it’s the least you can do.

They pelted me hard with balls of snow.

A kindly woman led me away, ‘Come. Let’s go.’

I said, ‘How can they be this way?

Christmas was ours and they took it away.’

She led me to an alley and others were there

Singing songs of Jesus and wise men’s gifts to share.

My dream ended then but I see the truth today

Little by little Christmas is being chipped away.

You can bow to the crowds, not to offend

Or stand up for Christmas and chose to defend.

So, my friends my advice to you this day,

Don’t give in to the crowds as they lead you their way.

They will continue to chisel away at Christmas, I know.

Have faith and in love let your feelings show.

With sincere wishes, I am happy I can say,

I wish you all a very

Merry Christmas Day!”