In previous years we have foregone the tree, but I would get out a fabric snowman for the coffee table and put a big wreath on the six-foot-square upstairs window. This year the decor looks the same as it did in August except that the screenporch plants are inside.
Husband and I haven't given each other Christmas gifts in years. We need and want nothing more of robes, jewelry, books... We have no children, no grandchildren, so the only gifts I bought and wrapped this year were for a couple of friends and for my coworkers. For one coworker, who recently won an award for her original gingerbread man needlework design, a gold-sparkly gingerbread man tree ornament.
It was with pleasure and a tickle of excitement that I wrapped these little gifts for delivery yesterday morning, the Christmas Eve half-day of work.Of the three only Afternoon Boss and I opened our gifts together. He loved his gift and will use it in his art.
Needlework Woman, who loves Christmas, and who will begin tomorrow counting down the days to next Christmas, happily accepted her little package and she and I and Afternoon Boss went off to Morning Boss's desk. As we approached I sang, "We three kings or Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar..." and we each placed our gifts on her desk blotter.
Morning Boss looked at me unsmiling. "I didn't get you anything."
"I don't care. It doesn't matter."
"You said you didn't want to exchange this year!"
I had said that, because I didn't want to obsess, as I knew I would, if I had had to choose a gift for her exacting self. And I didn't want to add to her stress by adding "gift for June" to her list of Things I Must Do. I think I'm enough of a chore for her every day. I hope that when she unwraps the book, she will see how minor a gift it is and will let the competition guilt drop away.
I didn't go looking for those gifts. If I had, I would not have had the pleasure of chancing upon them.
Today our usual holiday gang will gather for Christmas dinner. R and E, who originally planned to spend the day with R's family, changed their minds and will be here, and BonBon baked and will bring a pie, since she doesn't like our traditional household Christmas dessert of crème brulée.
Our group will be happy to be together today. If gifts are exchanged they will be small things. Our gift to each other will be our good fellowship. It is said that friends are the family you choose. But you don't go looking for them, sweating, madly scouting through the hordes of humanity for them.
You happen upon them...
...like The Perfect Gift.