I hope you enjoy mine.
Chris, my husband, is wonderful...but...sneaky.
He likes to play tricks on me.
He likes to keep secrets.
He likes withholding information.
I'm thinking he always wanted to be in the CIA but couldn't pass their psych eval.
We had only been dating a few months when Christmas came along. My parents invited us over for Christmas dinner and presents.
I honestly don't recall what I purchased for him that first holiday but I will always recall what he gave to me.
My present was inside a large shirt box. It had some weight to it as he placed it on my lap.
This was my introduction to the 'Gardner Wrapping Method'. If using practically an entire roll of scotch tape to seal every single edge of paper down to the package is normal, well, I've never heard of it before.
I finally found a flaw and ruthlessly dug at it until I was able to rip away the brightly colored paper.
Plain box top. Nothing to give away a hint.
I lifted the lid away and found a tissue paper covered rectangle shaped present.
It was a book.
I could tell.
I was thrilled.
It meant so much to me that this guy, this sweet new man in my life, had understood me well enough to know that I loved books.
What a perfect gift.
Does he know I love romance?
Did he stumble on to the perfect mystery?
Did he choose a book of classic fiction short stories?
Did he find a coffee table book with stunning photography?
My fingers, shaking with excitement, pull back the stark white paper...
Reader's Digest Great Events of the 20th Century: How They Changed Our Lives
Chris gave me a book about history.
A history book.
Isn't history his favorite subject?
Is this cover ripped?
Is this a used history book?
Did he buy this book from a used book store or did he take it right off his shelf at home?
When I finally look up, trying to hide even the slightest bit of disappointment from my face, I realize that Chris is trying to hold in his laughter so hard that he has almost passed out in his cup of egg nog.
Receiving dirty looks from my mother, I bite my lip, find my manners and tell him as sincerely as I can, "Thank you. I love books. This one will surely be an interesting read."
This is where he almost falls out of his chair. His eyes are shiny with tears because he is trying so hard not to laugh.
"What's so funny?" I finally ask.
He composes himself briefly. "You don't like it."
"No, you don't."
"I'm sure it's full of great information."
I don't remember how long he made me wait. It might have been a few minutes later or longer. Chris finally told me that there was something else in the book.
I guess I was supposed to page through the history book in awe and appreciation and 'accidentally' come across my actual gift.
Hidden in the back was an envelope that contained a gift certificate to a local salon. He gave me the gift of self-pampering.
I could tell you that this is where it ended but it wouldn't be true. He still tricks me all the time. He threw me a surprise birthday party. He secretly bought me this laptop. He hides presents at the homes of our family. He has other people purchase gifts so I won't know about them. He even has someone follow me at our local holiday craft fair and report back.
To him, it's a game.
To me, Chris is the best gift I ever got.